General information about the materials

The Helsinki City Archives’ document collections mostly comprise permanently retained, archived documents created as a result of the activities of the City’s former agencies and departments and its current divisions. The documents are transferred to the City Archives from the divisions by separate agreement. 

The City Archives’ collections primarily cover the period from the 1720s to the 2010s. The oldest archived document, a letter of privilege from King John III of Sweden to the bourgeois of Helsinki, dates back to 1569. The oldest continuous document series start from the 1720s. Examples of such documents include many document series created by the local register office.

The City Archives’ documents are generally public. Customers can access the documents at the City Archives’ research hall by ordering them. Access to confidential documents requires a research permit.

The most frequently used documents include:

  • Official records of the City Council and City Board
  • Official records of committees
  • Address register of the Helsinki Police Department’s address office (1907–1973)
  • Official records of the local register office (1721–1930)
  • Schools’ student catalogues
  • Archives of the areas incorporated into Helsinki in the great regional expansion of Helsinki in 1946
  • Olympic documents

Address card of Finnish poet, Eino Leino, from Address register of the Helsinki Police Department’s address office.