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Helsinki City Museum opens photo archives to the public

Helsinki City Museum has made over 45,000 photos from the city dating back to the 1840s available for browsing and free credited use via a new online service.

Raitiovaunun avoperävaunulla matkustetaan Munkkiniemeen vuonna 1952.
1952 tram in the Munkkiniemi district. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo

The Helsinki City Museum has made a treasure trove of historic photos available to the public for free credited use via its new online service, Helsinkiphotos.fi.  The service makes it possible to browse or search a collection of over 45,000 photographs and download high resolution, print-quality images or smaller images. It is also possible to order customized photographic products, such as posters, from the collection’s images.

Visitors to the site are free to use the downloaded images as long as they credit the Helsinki City Museum and the photographer. The use of photos with images of people for commercial purposes is prohibited.

The collection includes all of the iconic photos taken in the capital city by the now-famous photographer Signe Brander over one hundred years ago. The important collections of 1970s Helsinki from Simo and Eeva Rista are also part of the collection.

The Helsinki City Museum is the first Finnish museum to open its high-resolution digitalized photo collection for the public to use freely. It plans to add to the Helsinkiphotos.fi collection as staff completes the digitalization of the rest of the pictures in its collection.

A similar joint service called Finna.fi combines photos from museums, libraries and archives in one location. It too contains over 100,000 National Board of Antiquities images that are free to browse. Many museums in the service also offer the opportunity to order print-quality images and purchase image rights for an additional charge.

Tervasaaren rantatöyräällä kesällä 1975.
On the shores of Tervasaari Island, summer 1975. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo / Eeva Rista

Karhupuiston pysäkillä odotellaan ratikkaa.
Waiting on the tram near Karhupuisto (Bear Park) in Kallio. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo / Simo Rista

Tytöt kantavat pyykkikoria Yrjönkadun ja Iso Roobertinkadun risteyksessä vuonna 1907.
Girls carry a laundry basket in 1907, at the intersection of the streets of Yrjönkatu and Iso Roobertinkatu. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo / Signe Brander

Kinaporin työläistaloja ja Vaasankadun kulkijoita vuonna 1908.
Traffic on Vaasankatu in 1908. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo / Signe Brander

Raitiovaunu Ensi linjalla 1970-luvulla.
1970s tram on a street named Ensi linja in the Kallio district. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo

Fredrikinkadun ja Bulevardin kulmaus vuonna 1907. Rinnakkain matalia 1800-luvun puutaloja sekä uusia kerrostaloja.
The corner of Fredrikinkatu and Bulevardi streets in 1907. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo / Signe Brander

Venäläisiä hedelmäkauppiaita Hakaniementorin kulmalla vuonna 1907.
Russian fruit vendors at the Hakaniemi Square, 1907. Image: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo / Signe Brander

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