The archive and library collections

The archive and library collections


The museum’s photograph and document archives mainly contain material from Vaasa and Ostrobothnia. The library collection includes a reference library and Karl Hedman’s antique library.


The photo archive

The museum’s photograph collections include 200,000 photographs from Vaasa and Ostrobothnia dating from the 1850s onwards. The older collections include, among others, the collections of Holger Nyblin, Karl Borlin and Uno Finnilä. The more recent ones include those of Agda Söderman and Sverre Boucht. The archives also contain Alfred Franzén’s glass plate negatives from Swedish-speaking south Ostrobothnia, as well as an extensive portrait collection. The most extensive industrial photo collections are the Vaasa cotton factory and Mauno Mannelin’s photographs.
A digitalisation project has begun in order to improve the search process and the accessibility of photos in the archives. The most requested Vaasa pictures are already in the photo data base, and work with new collections is in progress. Our goal is to achieve an extensive photo database which will also be accessible to the public.


The document archive

The Ostrobothnian Museum stores documents and archive collections, as well as short-lived printed materials and chronicles on the history of the museum, the City of Vaasa and Ostrobothnia. The archive also contains documents related to personal and family histories, as well as material related to businesses, schools and associations in Vaasa from the 1850s onwards.
Karl and Elin Hedman’s archive includes letters, which address social and cultural issues from the end of the 19th century up until around 1930. The museum archives also contain material on the guild system in Vaasa during the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as documents relating to shipping and nautical education.


The reference library

The material in the Ostrobothnian Museum’s reference library focuses on history, cultural history, general art and scientific literature. The emphasis is on the history of Ostrobothnia and on the museum’s collections. There are also periodicals, annual publications and magazines in the library.
Literature is available particularly within: general history, biographical and family history, local history, building history, the protection of buildings and our building heritage, folk tradition and ethnology, handicrafts, crafts and craft design, museology, archaeology and visual art. The reference library also includes a selection of the publications and exhibition catalogues of other museums.


The antique library

Karl Hedman’s antique library, which constitutes a separate collection, consists of literature dating from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century.


Archive and library services

The materials in the reference library and in the photo and document archives are available for the use of external researchers and other interested individuals by appointment. A fee in accordance with the list of service charges is collected for the use of photos belonging to the archive.
For assistance in matters relating to image orders, rights to use photos and appointments, please contact the Curator.