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 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.
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.
- Act on the Openness of Government Activities(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) (PDF)
- List of classification codes (Opens New Window) (PDF in Finnish)
The customer service of the Archives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is located at Merikasarminkatu 5 F. Visits to the Archives must be booked in advance by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Archives is open 9.00–15.00 from Monday through Friday. Researchers can use their own laptops and digital cameras.
Note! The Ministry for Foreign Affairs' archive organization project, which started in September 2022, may limit the availability of the oldest material.
Postal address: PO Box 176, 00023 Government
Telephone: +358 295 350 601
The majority of the archives of Finnish diplomatic missions abroad dating beyond 1947 have been transferred to the branch office in Mikkeli, 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.