Finnish libraries have digitised their Finnish public domain materials, which range from magazines and books to photos, maps and audio recordings.
The digi.kirjastot.fi service maintained by public libraries focuses especially on providing local materials for free use. For all works that were published in or before 1929, the newspapers and journals that have been digitised by the National Library of Finland can be found and accessed freely at digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi. Newspapers and journals published later and available in digital form can be used at legal deposit libraries. Around 13 million newspaper and journal pages have been digitised in total, of which around 61% of newspaper material and 51% of journal content have been made available for free use. The National Library of Finland is constantly seeking to increase the share of freely available materials and make them available for restricted use in teaching and research at universities.
The National Collection’s books, maps and ephemera as well as recordings have been published as part of the Doria publication archive, which also contains a wide range of materials from other Finnish organisations: sheet music, statistics, documents and theses, among others.
Web contents harvested by the National Library as well as submitted e-legal deposit materials, such as e-books, e-magazines, and digital music recordings are available for use at legal deposit workstations at the National Library and other legal deposit libraries, the Library of Parliament, and the National Audiovisual Institute KAVI. Harvested web pages, tweets, and video contents are available at the legal deposit workstations through the Finnish Web Archive (an index of the Web Archive is available online); e-books, e-magazines, and music recordings are available in the Varia repository archive. Radio and TV channel programming recorded by KAVI are available through KAVI’s RITVA-database.
The digital materials that have been made available by different libraries can be accessed through the Finna.fi search service.
A comprehensive overview of Finnish publications can be found via Finna with the help of the Finnish National Bibliography Fennica and the Finnish National Discography Viola, which are both maintained by the National Library of Finland. Fennica contains information on all Finnish books that have been published since 1488, every newspaper since 1771, serial publications, maps, sheet music, and audiovisual and digital materials. Viola contains information on domestic recordings and sheet music as well as any related individual works and songs.
Libraries acquire newspapers, journals and books from commercial actors for the use of their customers. E-books can usually be borrowed from the online libraries of public libraries. Scientific libraries license materials for the use of students and researchers, and these materials can be accessed with credentials issued by a university or via a local interface.
The Elektra service contains over 36,000 Finnish scientific articles. The materials can be accessed in Finnish public libraries, universities of applied sciences, most universities as well as in other organisations that have purchased a licence.
Most of the metadata produced by libraries on their own collections is available on the Finna.fi service, and this data can also be accessed in aggregate form as open data via Finna’s open API (application programming interface).
Melinda is a collaborative environment for national cataloguing activities as well as a national metadata repository that is used to collate descriptive metadata on library materials. Participating libraries can use the joint repository to catalogue their materials and thus enable the further utilisation of this information. Melinda is set to gradually become the shared metadata repository of Finnish libraries. The ultimate goal of the service is to have each work or dataset catalogued in the metadata repository only once and thus reduce the incidence of overlapping work.
The data and metadata produced by the National Library of Finland can be used freely. The National Library of Finland provides numerous information resources and APIs that have been published as open data with a CC0 licence. For more information on the materials that are available and how they can be used, see the Data Catalogue.