Newspaper and Ephemera Services provide cultural material for everyone

In 2023, Newspaper and Ephemera Services promoted access to cultural material in a number of ways. The materials were borrowed by customers, used in collaborative projects, and organised for current and future generations.

10 years of Newspaper and Ephemera Services in Raisio

The Turku University Library has received Finnish printed publications under the Act on the Deposit and Preservation of Cultural Material since 1919. The collection of national cultural material is the second largest in Finland. In 2013, newspapers and ephemera were moved to spacious facilities in Raisio, and in 10 years the operation has evolved into what it is today. 

In 2023, Raisio's services and resources were open to everyone five days a week. For visitors, it was a return to the pre-coronavirus practices, as there was still an advance booking system and a visitor limit in force at the beginning of 2022.

Again this year, the University's researchers and students used both ephemera and newspapers for their own research and projects. With the addition of the Faculty of Technology, the use of one of the ephemera materials has clearly increased: more standards have been consulted than before. 

Half of the customers were other customers who used newspapers and ephemera for non-fiction, history, newspaper stories, TV programme props, background material for presentations, genealogy, and local history research. Help was also needed for practical situations: manuals for various machines (outboard motors, cars, radios) were also popular this year. 

Two librarians present posters of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics at the Library's Newspaper and Ephemera Services in Raisio

Assistant Librarian Jouko Miettinen and Information Specialist Sara Kannisto present posters from the 1952 Helsinki Olympics at the Newspaper and Ephemera Services in Raisio.

Collaboration within the University and in national networks

Materials from Raisio were on display in exhibitions. In the spring, the University's departments organised an exhibition on the multilingual history of Turku, for which they searched for and borrowed Tämmöttös Turus newspapers. In addition, the Library's own display case and social media channels featured both newspapers and ephemera throughout the year, for example, on the League of Finnish American Societies, parliamentary elections, and Mauno Koivisto.

Together with the National Library of Finland, ephemera work was presented at national conferences. The Finnish Literary Research Society’s Annual Conference was held in Turku in May and the Finnish Cultural Studies Conference in Espoo in December. In addition, the National Library's ephemera expert was invited to visit Turku to learn about our ephemera practices.

The Library's information retrieval training placed particular emphasis on the visibility of ephemera material. An internal Library workshop was held in June to plan how to tailor the presentation of ephemera to students of different disciplines.

Two library and information services trainees from the Turku University of Applied Sciences spent a week in Raisio in September. As part of their advanced training, they worked on a variety of tasks related to cultural materials.

Processing cultural materials and clarifying systems

Around 40 shelf metres of ephemera material is added each year. Annual reports, various guides, price lists, brochures and advertisements are all carefully organised to ensure they are accessible to everyone who needs them. In 2023, the parliamentary elections generated a large number of candidate advertisements. The adverts were organised by party so that they could be found on request.

The religion section was reorganised in November. An information specialist who was an expert in the subject played a key role in the reorganisation process. As ephemera are mainly materials that cannot be found in databases, it is important to organise them carefully.

Missing data were supplemented throughout the year. Supplements were obtained through donations from other libraries and private individuals as well as from antiquarian bookshops.