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The Finnish Economic Society Archives (1797-1917)

The archives are an excellent window on the social, political and economical circumstances in Finland in the 19th century, when changes were taking place in the agrarian society. 

The activities of the Finnish Economic Society 

The Finnish Economic Society (K. Finska Hushållningssällskapet, originally named the Royal/Imperial Finnish Economic Society) was founded in 1797 to improve the Finnish economy and the living conditions of its inhabitants. Information about conditions was collected from different parts of the country from a comprehensive network of correspondents. The Society wished to improve, among other things, the use of land, forestry and the school system. It tried to develop agriculture and its secondary industries by practical education, for example through popular pamphlets. The first was published in 1798, and it described how to make emergency bread from moss. The Society also played a central part in establishing the state administration after 1809, as well as when the Diet convened in 1863.

A significant archive collection

Societies whose aim was to improve the economy were founded throughout Europe in the 18th century. What is unique about the Archives of the Finnish Economic Society is the large areas they cover. In addition to minutes and correspondence, the archives include such things as vaccination lists and information on the promotion of potato cultivation, the development of education, and the awards society gave to distinguished citizens. Almost all the archival material is in Swedish.