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Information about Åbo Akademi University Picture Collections

Archival Collections in Alma

The Åbo Akademi Picture Collections houses roughly 1 million pictures representing several different techniques, such as photographs, prints and drawings. Approximately 7 000 of these are available in Alma.

The majority of the images in Alma are pictures relating to Turku, such as 19th century landscapes as well as collections of Turku-based photographers like Johan Jakob Reinberg and Carl Schoultz.

The picture collections of several archive holders are also available in Alma. For example, sociologist and professor Edvard Westermarck’s collection of photographs from his travels to Morocco, as well as the collection of forester Leo Björklund, containing images from the Åland Island and Lapland.

In Alma you can also find etchings and lithographs as well as photographic portraits and landscapes from other parts of Finland.

The Collections

The Picture Collections date back to 1911, when the Åbo Student Corporation at the University of Helsinki started collecting pictures systematically. In 1919 the collection was donated to the recently founded Åbo Akademi University.

The collections have steadily been growing through donations. Many donors have a connection to Åbo Akademi University, but there are also collections donated by Finland-Swedish authors, artists and other private individuals. The picture material consists mostly of photographs, negatives and diapositives but we also have works of art as well as prints.

New donations are nowadays organized according to the archive holder’s name. Previously, however, the images were arranged according to motif. Therefore, we have a large, well-organized collection of photographic portraits, mostly of members of Finland-Swedish families, as well as a topographical collection, containing images from locations all over the world. These collections are not yet available in their entirety in Alma.

Customer Service

Since the archive houses large collections that are not yet digitally available, please do not hesitate to contact us if you are unable to find what you are looking for. Also make sure to contact us in order to receive permission to use our images and for more information on, for example, our usage fees. E-mail: picture (at) abo.fi Tel: 02 215 4108

The Picture Collections are situated in the Book Tower (prev. the Main Library), Tuomiokirkonkatu 2–4, 20500 Turku. The archive is open daily 10–12 and 13–16. Please contact us in advance if you wish to visit the archive.

You can find more information on our website.