Music Archive Finland

We are a national central archive that stores materials relating to Finnish music – with the exception of art and folk music. Established in 1990, Music Archive Finland is a private organization that seeks no financial benefit. It serves researchers, but also others interested in the history of Finnish popular music.

Music Archive Finland collects especially unique material. The collection totals over 1100 shelf metres. Music Archive Finland currently stores over 450 private or association archives. The general collection consists of music papers, newspaper clippings, books, other published material and documents such as recorded music interviews mainly collected by the archive. The private collections comprise documents and items such as photographs, recordings and sheet music that have been kindly donated by musicians, people working in the music business, collectors, fans, and other music friends.

The collections cover a significant part of Finnish music history and cultural heritage. Much of the material has never been commercially released, including over 7000 hours of unpublished recordings. Music Archive Finland has no legal deposit requirement covering sound recordings or other music documents published in Finland.

Researchers and others interested in the topic can explore the materials in Music Archive Finland’s premises. Music materials such as recordings, videos and sheet music can be searched through the Other materials such as photos, documents and music magazines are cataloged in Skaala-database.

Music Archive Finland is also a research institute. It provides advice and information retrieval services, assists scholars in data management, and preserves research materials on a long-term basis. In 2014–2018 Music Archive Finland hosts the research project “Music, Multiculturality and Finland”, led by Academy Research Fellow Antti-Ville Kärjä. Music Archive Finland is also involved in the project “The History and Importance of African Musicians in Finland”. In addition, international and national seminars in music studies are held, as well as a monthly seminar in popular music research.

Music Archive Finland publishes non-fiction books and audio recordings related to Finnish popular music. It invests heavily in open science and research, as well as in Open Access publishing. The Open Access section gathers Open Access activities, including interviews and music research seminar presentations, research data, and Open Access books and recordings.

Music Archive Finland administers the Erik Lindström Fund that provides travel grants for young jazz musicians. Music Archive Finland also arranges exhibitions of the history of Finnish popular music, in collaboration with museums and libraries.

Music Archive Finland is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and it also relies on project funding, membership fees, and publications sale.


In order to preserve music, Music Archive Finland is converting analogue materials such as recordings, open reel tapes, c-cassettes and video tapes into digital format. Most of sound and audiovisual recordings have already been converted, but new donations of old materials keep coming in and are much welcomed.

Music Archive Finland’s expert role in digitization is widely acknowledged. It is involved in the National Digital Library, planning common standards and best practices for memory organizations. Music Archive Finland maintains the national Digiwiki service that provides information about the various aspects of digitization and long-term preservation of archive materials.

In 2004–2008, Music Archive Finland was a partner in the EU-funded Training project for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe (TAPE). The project focused on audiovisual collections held outside the major national institutions with specific responsibilities for audiovisual heritage. Through a set of activities, including expert meetings, research projects, publications, workshops and training, TAPE raised awareness for audiovisual preservation.

Franck Vigroux at Pori Jazz Festival

© Jouni Eerola / Music Archive Finland

Member's Association

Music Archive Finland is maintained by an association, known as The Members’ Association of Music Archive Finland. The association seeks to encourage archival work around jazz, pop and other popular music in Finland. It also arranges concerts, meetings, seminars and exhibitions.

The association is run by an executive committee, whose members represent various fields of music, archival expertise and academic research. In 2017, the members are Hannu Tolvanen (chair), Jaana-Maria Jukkara (vice-chair), Jussi Raittinen, Atro "Wade" Mikkola, Esa Lilja, Janne Poikolainen, Matti Laipio, Perttu Rastas, Jarmo Wallenius, Jari Eskola, Klaus Järvinen and Saijaleena Rantanen.

The membership fees of the association are

  • Person 25 €/year (student 10 €)
  • Person 200 €/lifetime
  • Institution 200 €/year
  • Institution 1500 €/lifetime

Music Archive Finland members receive two newsletters per year, a discount on our publications and access to our meetings. And, of course, by joining the association you will contribute to Finnish music life and cultural heritage.

If you are interested in joining the members’ association, please contact:

Erik Lindströms Archive / Music Archive Finland