History of the National Archives

The organization of the National Archives changed at the beginning of 2017, when its predecessor, the National Archives Service was united into a single entity, the National Archives. The old district model was likewise dismantled.

The National Archives Service consisted of the National Archives and seven Provincial Archives operating under it. The National Archives developed from the Senate Archives founded in 1816. The first Provincial Archives in Finland were established in the early decades of the 20th century.

Finland was governed from Stockholm during the era of Swedish reign and was annexed to Russia in 1809 as an autonomous grand duchy with a separate Finnish central administration. Records concerning Finland were transferred from Sweden to the Senate Archives which eventually began receiving material from other offices. In 1869 the Senate Archives was renamed to the State Archives, and in 1994 to the National Archives.

The establishing of Provincial Archives was proposed at the Diet of Finland already in 1888. However, the first Provincial Archives was founded only in 1927 in Hämeenlinna. The respective Provincial Archives of Oulu and Turku were established in 1932, Mikkeli (Vyborg) in 1934, and Vaasa in 1936. Jyväskylä received a Provincial Archives in 1967 and Joensuu in 1974.