Our century online

Everyday help from the Marthas!

The National Library digitises important parts of the Finnish cultural heritage – from everyday microhistory to high culture and the achievements of science and art.

The women’s movement and women’s organisations have played an important role in developing society, equality and national welfare, and the National Library of Finland is proud to announce that to protect this heritage, it has launched a partnership with the two branches of the venerable Martha Organisation, the Finnish-language Marttaliitto and the Swedish-language Finlands Svenska Marthaförbund.

To preserve our way of life, we must cope with chores, maintain our personal economy, discover clever work methods, cook nutritious food, care for others and protect nature, and in these arenas the Martha Organisation has paved the way for the rest of society for more than a century.

Joint fund established

Both branches were established in 1899, and their official magazines, Emäntälehti and Husmodern, were first published in 1902.

The cooperation is hoped to provide the valuable, still current material produced  by these associations for public online use. 

In the autumn 2015, the organisations established a joint fund for this purpose as part of the National Library’s cultural heritage fund among the University of Helsinki Funds. The name of the fund is the Martha Fund (in Finnish: Martat – Martharahasto, in Swedish: Fonden Martat – Martha).

Digitise as much as possible

The goal of the National Library is to digitise the historical printed material produced by the Martha organisations until 1944, including cookbooks, home economy guides and other leaflets, annual reports and ephemera. At the moment, issues of Emäntä and Husmodern have been digitised up to 1944.

The National Library intends to acquire the necessary rights to display copyrighted material online. The digitised resources will be released through the Finna interface (www.finna.fi/?lng=en-gb) and linked to the websites of the organizations.

The Marthas hope to promote the National Library’s work to conserve the publications and work of public organizations as well as to help the National Library raise funds for the Martha Fund so that as much of the material as possible can be digitised.

Based on shared values

The cooperation is based on communication and the values shared by the parties, such as the preservation of our immaterial cultural heritage and their long histories as public institutions.

Articles and videos will be produced in cooperation for the magazines and social media of the Martha organizations, presenting the National Library’s collections and history as well as shedding light on the work of digitising and conserving the resources. Correspondingly, the National Library Magazine will present the publications, history and work of the new partners.

The cooperation was launched in autumn 2015 and will continue through 2017.