City museum's collections

Vantaa City Museum's collections consist of photos, objects and archive. You can browse the collections on the web or visit the museum's collection space.


Vantaa City Museum's collections consist of photos, objects, as well as archive and AV material. You can familiarize yourself with the collections on the Finna search service where you can download printable, high-resolution photos or smaller, web-level photos.

You can also visit the museum's collection space in Hiekkaharju. You can study the original photos, as well as search and browse digitized material in the museum's database. You must always agree on your visits in advance.

Finna search service  

In the Finna search service, you can find more than 5,000 old and new photographs from Vantaa as well as archival items and other objects. New material is being added continuously. You can download printable high resolution images and smaller images of online quality freely for your use with a CC BY 4.0 licence. This means that you can download our images from Finna and use them freely, as long as you mention the Vantaa City Museum and the name of the photographer in connection with the publication. 

Collection services 

You can also study the collections at the museum’s collection premises in Hiekkaharju.  


Photo: Stella Karlsson, Vantaa City Museum

Image archives 

The collections of the image archives include approximately 141,000 images (in 2021): prints of photographs, negatives, slides, image files as well as photo albums from the late 1800s until today. In addition, the collections include some postcards and other image materials. 

Among other things, the subjects of the images include buildings, scenery, persons, municipal life and events in the Vantaa region. The collection consists mainly of donations. A large share of the image materials has been collected through process photography, and currently also by digitising photos borrowed from private individuals.

The museum documents the changes in the cityscape, events and phenomena through photography (see: ‘Collecting duties’ below on this page). In 2021, a group consisting of volunteer city photographers was founded; the group participates in recording the changing city together with the museum.  


The collections of the Vantaa City Museum include approximately 25,000 objects (in 2021). Roughly 15,000 are a part of the Håkansböle manor collection. Other large collections include the school collection, objects related to municipal activities, as well as materials from industry in Vantaa, such as the products manufactured by the Tikkurila silk factory.

The archaeological finds in Vantaa are catalogued in the collections of the National Museum of Finland in accordance with the Antiquities Act.  

Archive and audiovisual archive 

Among other things, the archival collection contains documents, maps, letters, educational posters and drawings as well as oral tradition and modern documentation material. The material includes more than 125 metres of shelf space in total (in 2021). Some of the material is stored in digital format. The goal is to preserve material in paper format as well as oral tradition related to the history of the region and its inhabitants.  

Audio and video or film recordings in different formats are stored in the audiovisual archive of the museum. The collections include approximately 710 recordings (in 2021). The material consists of e.g. interviews, video recordings, open reel tapes, music and animations. The interview materials created by the museum are stored in electronic format. The archival and audiovisual collections have been built out of the donations received and recordings and copies made, as well as the museum’s own efforts to gather material. 


The freezer room on our collection premises is intended for freezing objects and other materials. Freezing is used to combat insect pests. We only rent the freezer to museums, archives and associations. We do not freeze food.  

  • The freezing period is 7 days. The temperature falls down to -38 °C in approximately one hour.  

  • Price for museums, archives and associations: EUR 400/freezing period (+24% VAT).

  • Materials are brought in and picked up Mon–Fri 9:00–15:00 upon agreement in advance.‍ 

The City Museum is not liable for any damage to the object that may be caused by freezing. The customer must ensure that the material is suitable for freezing. The customer must sign a disclaimer form before freezing the material. 

For further information and reservations, please contact the museum technician (contact information at the bottom of the page). 

Collection policy 

The purpose of collection policy is to sum up the task of the museum and open up the operation and processes of the museum. The collection policy of the Vantaa City Museum is confirmed by the City Culture Board. The collection policy is updated roughly every five years. The first collection policy of the Vantaa City Museum was completed in 2004, among one of the first museums in Finland.  

Collecting duties 

The Vantaa City Museum is responsible for collecting items locally. Material related to the Helsinge Parish, rural municipality, township and present-day city of Vantaa is added to the collections. The focus areas are:  

  • urbanisation and suburbs   

  • cultural landscape and building culture   

  • living and everyday life in Vantaa                              

  • culture in Vantaa: organisational activities, hobbies, leisure time, events 

  • industry in Vantaa

  • municipal life in different eras, industries and organisations

  • the museum’s own activities  

Contemporary documentation and cooperation 

The Vantaa City Museum actively records current phenomena in Vantaa. The topics being recorded are selected annually. The topics may be linked to the museum’s own theme year or another theme year, or they can be determined based on the exhibition or research material needed.  

The City Museum participates in the TAKO network (Network for Collections Management and Contemporary Documentation in Finland). The goal of the TAKO network is to develop the cooperation by museums related to contemporary documentation as well as the national division of collecting duties. This prevents overlap in the collections of different museums.  

The collecting duties of the Vantaa City Museum include the following themes: 

  • Living in the suburbs 

  • Urbanisation

  • Shopping centres and clusters   

The City Museum participates in the activities of TAKO’s collaborative group Pool 3 with the theme of everyday life. Among other things, we implement contemporary documentation projects related to the theme of the pool. 

More information

Päivi Yli-Karhula

Vantaa City Museum
050 318 1482

collections of objects, Deputy Museum Director

Maria Kangas

Vantaa City Museum
Museum Techician
050 314 5142

museum technology and logistics

Anu Mönkkönen

Vantaa City Museum
050 318 0989

collections of the image archives, customer service 

Sanni Penttinen

Vantaa City Museum
040 675 5222

photography, image processing, work with collections and documentation

Stella Karlsson

Vantaa City Museum
050 318 1484

Håkansböle manor collection

Anna-Reetta Rikala

Vantaa City Museum
050 302 4097 

Image archives

Vantaa City Museum




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The museum examines the history of Vantaa from different perspectives, from pre-history to the present day.


The museum examines the history of Vantaa from different perspectives, from pre-history to the present day. The museum's current research projects look into the selected topics in detail. Exhibitions, publications and reports are prepared based on the museum's research projects.

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