Collections

The collections of Åland Museum comprise a comprehensive body of knowledge for the curating of and information on how people lived and worked in different time periods. The archives and collections of artefacts and photographs are continuously expanded through inventorying, research, documentation, fund-raising and donations. Artefacts from collections are displayed in all of the Åland Museum attractions.

Art Collection

The Art Collection consists of over 1,000 works of art that are in some way associated with Åland. The collection includes the Ålands Vänner Foundation art collection and the Irene and Halvdan Stenholm collection.

Art curator Susanne Procopé Ilmonen is head of the Art Collection.

Ethnological Collection

For over one hundred years, artefacts have been collected in an effort to preserve the cultural heritage of Åland in a provincial museum. The collection contains over 35,000 artefacts. In connection with the acquisition of artefacts, information on their manufacture and use is documented in a way that allows it to be placed in a historical context. The collections include beautifully painted cabinetry, ornamented articles of the peasantry, and even simple utensils and modern industrial products.

Antiquarian Kitty Strandvik is head of the Ethnological Collection.

Textile Collection

Over 5,000 textile items are found in the collection. The Textile Collection consists primarily of clothing, shoes and household textiles. The oldest textiles are from the 18th century. A large amount of women’s apparel from the end of the 1800s and beginning of 1900s has been preserved. The primary focus is placed on interior decorating textiles and garments from the 1900s.

Curator Susan Hannusas is head of the Textile Collection.

Archaeological Collection

Finds dating as far back as 1843 from various research projects conducted throughout the region have been collected. The archived finds tell about human behaviour and how people structured their lives during various periods of history. There are over 100,000 catalogued finds in the Archaeological Collection. Everything from the Stone Age to modern times is represented in the collection in the form of implements, household utensils, personal items, etc.

Antiquarian Veronica Lindholm is head of the Archaeological Collection.

Photography Collection

The photography archive consists of over 65,000 photographs. There are images of everything from portraits of Ålanders through the years to pictures of farms and places that no longer exist. A large number of the older photographs show various periods in Åland’s history.

Antiquarian Staffan Beijar is head of the Photography Collection.

Preservation and conservation

Each artefact is a source of knowledge, and it is the task of the museum to preserve artefacts for posterity. Artefacts must be kept in the right environment and require constant inspection, care and, whenever necessary, conservation.

Please direct any questions regarding the conservation and care of artefacts to Curator Susan Hannusas.

Archives

DOCUMENTATION ARCHIVE

Åland Museum continuously documents various ways of living, cultural contexts and material realms. Audio recordings, photography, films and records are used in documentation. This material has resulted in an archive that consists of audio material, interview transcriptions, photographs, drawings and clips along with archaeological reports.

AUDIO RECORDING ARCHIVE

Recordings of music and folk traditions have been made continuously since the late 1970s. Today, the museum maintains a unique collection of audio recordings, with some 1,000 tapes of interviews and music from throughout the region. The interviews, many of which are transcribed, form a key resource for research on dialects, music and folk traditions.

FILMS AND INTERVIEWS

The Åland Museum collection also includes reports from field work done by museum staff over the years. The reports include photographs, interviews, films, etc.

Some examples of the field work conducted include documentary films on ring dancing in Kökar, a collection of materials on the mine at Nyhamn, a collection of place names in Mariehamn, documentation of the Russian period in Mariehamn, youth culture in Mariehamn, Midsummer traditions, celebration of the Millennium, burial customs in Geta, villages in Föglö, the building of the galleon Albanus as well as schooner Linden and gig Jehu, and Åland’s sea lighthouses.