Tero Salomaa
University of Helsinki. Researcher

Japanese collections at the National Library of Finland

The National Library of Finland was established during Swedish rule as Royal Academy of Turku in 1640. During Russian rule the university was moved to Helsinki in1828 and it started operating under the name of the "Imperial Alexander University". After Finland's indepence in 1917, the University's library was renamed Helsinki University library. In 2006 the name of the library was changed to the National Library of Finland with an amendment of the Universities act.

The Library has several Japanese and Japan related collections.

  1. Japonica collection. Total of 600 titles (2000 volumes). From various donators between 1930-1950.
  2. Soto Zen Buddhist Association donation. Few thousand volumes – donated in 1968 and 1973
  3. Nordenskiöd collection. In the late 1800s, the scientist and explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901) assembled an extensive collection of historical maps, geographical literature and rare travel books. In 1997 the collection was included in UNESCO's Memory of the World register. Collection has total of 24.000 maps, which some of them are Japan-related. Nordeskiöld was the first one crossing of the Northeast Passage. His Vega ship arrived to Japan in 1879. Nordenskiöld's huge book-collection (with 30 Japan related books) is also possessed at National Library of Finland
  4. Poster collection from Russo-Japanese war. From  1820 to 1917 the library was provided with deposit copies of publications published in Russia. This "Slavic" collection has 270 posters, many of them published in Russia for Russo-Japanese war on propaganda purposes