The archives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

The Archives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs constitute the central archives of the administrative branch. The principal function of the service is to provide material for the Ministry and other authorities. The archival materials are available also for researchers.

The Merikasarmi premises of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be refurbished in 2018–2021. During that time, the Ministry's Archives will serve customers in the Government Palace on Ritarikatu 2 B. Visits to the Archives must be booked in advance by email. Materials will be delivered in 2–3 days.

Materials

The oldest collections in the Foreign Ministry's archives date back to the Ministry's foundation in 1918. The archival materials form a central source of information for research into Finland’s foreign policy and the history of Finland’s international relations.

The most important documents are letters that have been arranged into groups according to content or signums (classification code). Documents dealing with a particular subject matter are collected into one dossier.

The staff are prepared to help researchers find the material that they are looking for and to make materials available for them.

Customer service

The temporary office in the Government Palace provides seats for three researchers.

Researchers can use their own laptops and digital cameras.

Publicity

The Ministry's archival materials are available to the general public. Based on the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the period of secrecy for official documents is mainly 25 years.

The use of documents is also limited by provisions enacted to protect business or professional secrets and to protect privacy, for example.

Contact details

During the refurbishment of the Merikasarmi premises, customers will be served in temporary premises in the Government Palace on Ritarikatu 2 B. Visits to the Archives must be booked in advance by email (tietopalvelu.um@formin.fi). Materials will be delivered in 2–3 days.

The Archives is open 9.00–16.00 from Monday through Friday.

Street address: Ritarikatu 2 B, Helsinki
Postal address: PO Box 176, 00023 Government
Telephone: +358 295 350 601
Email: tietopalvelu.um@formin.fi

Branch office in Oulu

The majority of the archives of Finnish diplomatic missions abroad dating beyond 1947 have been transferred to the branch office in Oulu, which takes care of interlibrary loans to the National Archives and other branch offices of the National Archives.

The most comprehensive records are stored in the Ministry’s Archives.

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