About the Project

The “Increasing Access to Finnish Language Archives” project is organized by the Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society, with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Documentary Heritage Communities Program.

This project will increase digital and hard-copy access to Finnish-language archives in northwestern Ontario, throughout Canada, and internationally. The records collected by the Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society (TBFCHS) form the core of a significant collection of Finnish-Canadian archives housed at Lakehead university. These include records of people and families, cultural and sporting organizations, labour and political organizations, and news and media.

Through processing and description, we will increase the accessibility of these records to both English-speaking and Finnish-speaking audiences. Up until now, access to these records has been limited by linguistic barriers (only English-language descriptions have been written for Finnish-language records) and by geographic barriers (travel to Thunder Bay to consult the collections is not possible for all who are interested.)

Increased description (in English and Finnish), digitization, and selected translation into English will open these hidden materials to researchers and the general public, preserving and honouring this unique Finnish-Canadian heritage. This effort will also enable engagement by subsequent generations of learners and aid in planning and prioritizing the Society’s future archival projects.