The considerations on the reasons underpinning the founding of archives and the related power dynamics, made by the archival theorist T.R. Schellenberg in the 1950s, are equally topical today. The formal and practical reasons are based on the need of the public authorities to have documents and to make administration more efficient whereas the cultural motivations underline the national and historical value of documents.

However, these values change over time, and in this context the power has been and is still exercised by the employees of the archives. A special gatekeeper role has been held by national archives and their directors. They have had the ultimate decision as to whose history is worth saving. Moreover, it is important to ask how the historical decisions and the collecting, indexing, description, and cataloguing of the materials orientate the current research. In the context of various documents, only certain features are considered relevant and the decisions on choices are made by certain key individuals at the national archival institutions.

Turku, 21‒22 May 2015, University of Turku.



Opening: Leader of the research project, Professor Kirsi Vainio-Korhonen

Keynote: Professor Peter Aronsson: Uses of the Past and the Role of Museums

Keynote: Associate Professor Tiiu Jaago: Public Archives in Estonia in the Context of Political Changes and Developments in Research

Session I Sites of Memory

Doctoral candidate Andreas McKeough: Conflicting Memories. The Archiving of Texts on the Finnish Civil War as a Historical and Ideological Process, commenter Liisa Vuonokari-Bomström

PhD, Docent Ulla-Maija Peltonen: Revising Private Archive Canon. What is personal in Personal Archives?, commenter Mikael Korhonen

Doctoral candidate Liisa Vuonokari-Bomström: Archives as Spoils of War, commenter Petra Hakala

PhD Outi Hupaniittu: Contesting the Impartiality – Critical Reading of the Finnish Disposal Policies, commenter Ulla Maija Peltonen

Conclusion: PhD Mikael Korhonen



Session II Networks of Power

Doctoral candidate Taina Saarenpää: Constructing the Medieval Past, commenter Andreas McKeough

Doctoral candidate Petra Hakala: Archive and Social Networks (Case Society of Swedish Literature in Finland), commenter Outi Hupaniittu

PhD Mikael Korhonen: Digital History Writing, commenter Taina Saarenpää

Conclusion and discussion: PhD Mikael Korhonen