"In the 1960s the grants were rather generous, as it was also the
intention of the town administration to express Rovaniemi as being
suitable for housing the Regional Library. A regional collection was one
of the criteria for the selection. This was of great interest to me, as I
used this collection for my work as an author and writer. Maps represented
part of the antiquary acquisitions.
I was actively involved with a number of sources
including, for instance, antiquarian booksellers in Helsinki who I visited
and I was presented with some lists of the collections. I also travelled
to Stockholm to purchase books and maps from the local antiquarian
booksellers. In practice, a number of these purchases were handled by the
publishing house Lehtikirjakauppa, but occasionally I would purchase some
myself and claim the money back from the town administration. As there
were, and still are, a number of forgeries around, I learnt to sort the
rubbish from the genuine articles, and I'm rather confident that no fake
maps were acquired. I also extended my search for acquisitions to the fair
in Frankfurt and visits to the local antiquarian booksellers. I collated
lists from a number of countries.
I recall Lennart Meri being both intrigued and in
great admiration of the maps. It was my understanding that he too was a
collector. When the maps were hung along the office corridors and on the
walls of the outdoor foyer, Lennart was shocked: Anyone at any time could
steel these rare and valuable items. I told him that stealing is illegal
in Finland, and stealing from a public collection is an especially harshly
Some of the maps I have purchased for my personal
collection. The wall of my study has a map of Archangel printed in 1758 in
It was not only an interesting time, but also a
very educational one. Governer Lassinantti followed my acquisitions with
great interest and gave me some excellent tips. Back then, there was also
a bit of competition, as for instance the Kemijoki hydropower company
managed to reserve rare books and maps before I had time to go through all
the antique book lists. I have to admit that Lapland themed works still
catch my eye, and I wonder why no one has bought them yet..."
(Jorma Etto, the Chief Librarian at the Regional Library of Lapland
1961-1984. A letter in March 2006)
The site was implemented as part of the Digmore, Digital Cultural Heritage Project
http://www.digmo.fi/digmore/en The aim of the project is to make the cultural heritage of
Lapland more easily available for various actors, experts, researchers, educational
institutions and the general public.
A total of fifteen individual map documents and a facsimile of Olof Tresks atlas
Kemi och Torne lappmarker 1642-1643 have been digitised for these pages.
|You may browse the maps
using the thumbnails and buttons at the bottom of the page. The name of the map appears
when you move the mouse cursor over a thumbnail.