Etusivu / Preservation / Archives and Collections

Archives and Collections

Memory Institutions that Store Finnish Queer History

The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas

The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas is nationally responsible for documenting Finnish queer history. The LGBT+ collection for gender and sexual minorities was first established in 2002. The collection is still in its infancy; containing approximately 1500 items, 3000 photographs, as well as about 500 books and other print material (figures from 2020). The Werstas Museum is located in Tampere.

See also the following online magazine articles (in Finnish):
A picture of two lovers is revealing – by covering everything up
A transvestite or a person wearing a skirt?
Making history through museum donations
The significance a museum item carries

The Labour Archives

The Labour Archives store the records of organizations, private individuals, and research projects that represent and support gender and sexual minorities. For example, Seta’s records have been in the Labour Archives since 2002. The Labour Archives are located in Helsinki.

See also the following online articles:
Document your own personal queer history
The Labour Archives as a recorder of queer history
Queer history told through photographs at the Labour Archives

The Parliamentary Library

1. The Parliamentary search engine – Parliamentary affairs and documents
2. Digitized Parliamentary documents 1907-2000 service
3. From civil unions toward marriage equality – an information pack
4. Database of the Selma Collection

See also the article regarding the use of Parliamentary data in online publications:
Queer history data in Parliament’s information service portal is a search service that collects materials from hundreds of Finnish organizations, such as museums and archives, and makes them available in one place. It also includes plenty of material regarding queer history.

See also the online article regarding queer history information available at Finna:
Finna’s treasures for researchers and hobbyists

The Hotel and Restaurant Museum: Restopedia

Restopedia online ( was removed in 2021 and will hopefully be returned to use at a later date. Information is available through the Hotel and Restaurant Museum information service, and during the project, recollections have also been published on the Restopedia Facebook page:

Restaurant Recollections in Rainbow Colors

The Swedish National Archives: RFSL Collections

The Swedish sexual minorities organization ’Riksförbundet för sexuellt likaberättiganden’, RSFL’s archives are located in the Swedish government archives in Stockholm. The organization’s archives contain and closely pertain to Finnish queer history as well.

See also the following online articles:
Stockholm’s Government Archives and the RSFL’s Collections

The Finnish Literature Society (SKS)

Deafening Silence – An online exhibition of SKS’s queer materials

The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS)

The Finnish Social Science Data Archive

Gender Diversity, LGBTIQ Lives and History – theme page

See also the online articles:
Through data archives you can research queer history from post-war Finland to present day

Online Archives of Queer History

Gaykätkö & Queerkätkö

A Facebook page detailing the preparation, progress, and final publication of Gaykätkö during spring 2016.
Gaykätkö Facebook page

A Facebook page detailing the preparation, progress, and final publication of Queerkätkö during winter, spring, and summer 2016 – 2017.
Queerkätkö Facebook-sivu

Eva Isaksson

During Queer History Month in 2018 and 2019, Eva Isaksson shared daily updates publicly available to everyone containing many stories, perspectives, and information regarding Finnish queer history.

Queer History Month Facebook Updates 2019
Queer History Month Facebook Updates 2018

Extaasi – an anarchist culture group

Extaasi history blog

Finnqueer Online Periodical

The History of Gender and Sexual Minorities Fight for Equality in Finland and Internationally

Islamia Queeristi

Islamia Queeristi is a Wasla Collective project that aims to increase the knowledge of the diversity of interpretations of Islam, especially LGBTQIA+ inclusive interpretations, in Finland. Islamia Queeristi has composed an online collection of materials regarding Islamic history, diversity, and LGBTQIA+ related questions.

Islamia Queeristi – materials is run by Sateenkaariyhteisöt ry, mostly through volunteer work, specifically for Finnish gender and sexual minorities. It operates as both a source of information and forum for dicussion.

See for example (in Finnish):

Tribades’ Nights and Days Lesbian, Bi, Trans Cultural Festival (archives 2000-2004)

The archived Tribadit website (Web Archive, original site no longer available)

The Labour Memory Commission, Memory Collection Project, Unforgettable Moments
(updated 19.6.2018–21.1.2020)

Literature Regarding the Recording of Queer History

See also the bibliography under the ’Publications’ section.

Hekanaho, Pia Livia & Juvonen, Tuula & Savolainen, Matti & Vänskä, Annamari (2008) Pervot arkistot ja kaapit. Tutkimusaineistojen toisinajattelemisesta. SQS – Journal of Queer Studies in Finland 3:2, 58–68.

Juvonen, Tuula (2014) Tutkimusaineistojen arkistoinnista ja bittiavaruuksista. SQS – Journal of Queer Studies in Finland 8:1–2, 5864.

Paqvalén, Rita (toim.) Minns du? Vårt queera kulturarv och arkivens roll. Service Kultur för alla publications 3/2018.

Taavetti, Riikka (2013) Rivien välistä. Seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöjen historian tutkimuksen lähteet ja suomalaiset arkistoratkaisut. Pro gradu -tutkielma, Humanistinen tiedekunta, Jyväskylän yliopisto.