In her study “Lacking general interest” – Strategies of archival acquisition pursued by Finnish institutions preserving archival material of private nature doctoral candidate Petra Hakala compares the emergence of a number of archival institutions of private nature or otherwise separate from the Finnish National Archives Service (the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, the Finnish Literature Society, the National Library, the Library of the Åbo Academy) and how collections of private archival material have been created in these institutions from the 1880’s to the 1920’s. Her study aims at a clearer picture of the acquisition of archival material in the Society of Swedish Literature and how it has been used as a booster of self-image of the Society.
In more detail she tries to reveal the ideological and political motives and biases possibly influencing the organizations when they acquired archival material. The focus in her work is on the question what the institutions have chosen to present as Finnish history and to what extent it is a matter of ideological use of history and of legitimizing Swedish cultural heritage. She also tries to analyse General Director of the Finnish State Archives Reinhold Hausen’s role in the acquisition of archival material, and particularly when material was distributed to various actors in the archival field. Theoretical network approaches will be implemented in order to reveal the importance and structure of informal networks as promoters of archival acquisition as well as the motives of those who donated archives. Petra Hakala’s research will mainly be based on material in the archives of the Society of Swedish Literature (e.g. minutes of the Committee, annual reports, lists of members, deeds of gift, official as well as private correspondence) and similar material of the other organizations.