European Documentation Centre 50 Years
The oldest European Documentation Centre (EDC) in Finland operates in the University of Turku. The eventful EDC-activities began in 1972 when the Faculty of Law of the University of Turku and the Commission of the European Communities concluded an agreement which granted the status as an official European Documentation Centre (EDC). The goal of the EDC is to support teaching and research on European integration and to make the European Union and its politics known to the public.
The EDC-activities began in the premises of the main library of the University of Turku (in the present Feeniks Library) and continued there until 1991, when due to lack of space and staff the EDC moved to the premises of the Institute for European Studies, situated in the Rettig Palace in Nunnankatu. Already in the following year the EDC moved to Linnankatu, and from the beginning of 1994 to the premises of DataCity in Lemminkäisenkatu. From DataCity the EDC moved to the premises of the Pan-European Institute, situated in the Turku School of Economics and Business, where it stayed until the end of 2002.
In March 2003 the EDC started operating in The Faculty Library of Pedagogics and Social Sciences. The EDC collection has been situated in the same premises since then. The present EU collection is situated in the Educarium Library, except for the collection of the Official Journal of the EU, which is situated in Calonia.
Since 2019 the information specialist for Law is also the EU information specialist. The EU information specialist actively guides in the use of EU databases and in EU information retrieval. During the years EU information retrieval has been taught to different groups, and in the last years the teaching has been integrated into Law students’ information retrieval lessons. Use of the information sources is now taught to tens of students annually, also at the open university, and to students at Åbo Akademi University.
Due to the EDC status the library has received the official publications of the European Union and of its bodies since 1973 for free. The most central publications have also been bought retrospectively, such as for example The Official Journal of the EU and the Reports of the Court of the European Union. That means there are publications in the valuable collections beginning from 1953. These days the EU publications are published online and only a few titles are added to the printed book collection per year. It is possible to make acquisition requests to the book collection. For more information on EU-publications study the EU Documentation guide.
The activities of the European Documentation Centre have changed over the years. In earlier years the focus was on information services and providing printed and e-resources to customers. The importance of these has diminished over the years, although they are still part of the service. A new important role has been to promote citizen discussions and initiatives, to promote EU events and the possibility to influence, as well as cooperation with other EU actors. There is a network of 8 European Documentation Centres in Finland and the activities are coordinated by the European Commission Delegation in Finland (in Finnish).