SKS and the Centenary of Finland’s Independence in 2017

During the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 SKS will take a long look round: we shall make the future with the benefit of the past. We seek co-operation, because that is how we shall form an overall view of the diverse cultures in the Finland of 2017.

Free access to information

In recent years, scholarly publishing has been much discussed, both  in Finland and abroad. Open Access publishing has been at the heart of the debate. "Knowledge free online" is a beautiful goal but a complex issue. Scholarly publishers, universities and the Ministry of Education and Culture will need to consider how to determine the conditions for scholarly publishing and Open Access publishing. It is not simply a question of funding but also of better organizing learned societies and publishers – for example improving the quality, distribution and marketing of publications.

As Finland's second oldest learned society and largest publisher of work in the humanities, in the autumn of 2014 SKS began looking into Open Access publishing. The exploration encompasses issues related to the production, cost structure, preservability and distribution of electronic publications. The aim is to ensure free access to information safely, taking into account the needs of users as well as those of content producers and distributors.

The free access to information and its production together with citizens is also implemented in the web-based collecting platform which SKS is developing for its tradition and oral history collections. This makes it possible to create collections targeting various groups of citizens and supports in particular the inter-personal use of the Internet. The treasures of SKS’s archives will also be open for free use during the centenary.

The Picture of Today is Being Recorded Now

Finland is no longer a land of one culture, if indeed it ever has been. The whole picture of Finnish culture is formed of various majority, minority, sub-, youth cultures, and so on. What will Finnish culture be like in 2017? How will we appear to the people who will look back on us in a hundred years’ time?

Suomi sata-nolla (Finland hundred zero) is an SKS archive project that will be implemented from 2015 to 2016. Among the oldest collections in SKS’s archive are, for example, Elias Lönnrot’s collections of Kalevala-metre poetry from the early nineteenth century. Now folklore and oral history data are collected in a new way, targeting various groups of citizens as widely as possible. The collection is interactive, utilizing social media channels and the networks of various cultural and civil society organizations.  This results in a contemporary picture of life in Finland in the 2010s and a greater understanding of our shared, multi-faceted cultural heritage. The results of the project will be presented during the collection process and, of course, in 2017.

The aim of the project Minusta jää jälki (Of me there remains) is to develop teaching about archives in a way that increases understanding of what an archive is, and why it is important: it is what will remain of us in a hundred years from now. One of the main goals is to ensure that the visitor to the archive is also a participant, not just a donor of material or a user. By producing the material of the archives, individuals will make their experiences and memories part of our common cultural heritage. Particular focus will be placed on targeting schoolchildren, and freely usable online material is being prepared for Finnish schools in 2017.

History helps us to understand

The student of history often finds surprising similarities between the events of the past and the present. Perhaps we could also learn something from history. SKS is the oldest publisher operating in Finland. We publish books, both in print and online.

Itsenäisen Suomen kulttuurihistoria (A cultural history of independent Finland) will be published in  2016

A cultural history of independent Finland approaches Finnish history through the experience of the country’s citizens. Through the things and phenomena that appeal to Finns, and those that repel them,  we gain a new and enlightening picture of the era of independence. The subjects range from alcohol to long distance running and from immigration to summer cabins.

Itsenäisen Suomen kulttuurivaikuttajia (The cultural figures of independent Finland) will be published in 2017

The celebration of independent Finland’s eightieth anniversary was opened by the online publication of the Finnish National Biography, which embraces a thousand years of history. In 2017 a collection of biographies of leading figures in contemporary Finnish culture will be published. The supplementary work begins with writers, translators and comic book authors born in the 1940s and 50s.

Interested? Get in touch!

SKS Communications Director Sirkka-Liisa Mettomäki,, tel. 040 580 4964