CENL Event

2nd November 2020

The History of Relations Between Russia & Finland in The Presidential Library

From October 22 to December 14, 2020, the exhibition “Russia – Finland: Marking the 100th anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Contacts” is available at the Presidential Library in Saint Petersburg (Russia). The anniversary will be celebrated on December 31.

The opening of the exhibition was attended by the Ambassador of Finland to the Russian Federation Antti Helanterä, representatives of the authorities and leading cultural institutions of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region.

The exhibition of the Presidential Library organized together with the National Archives of Finland with the participation of numerous partners and the support of Nokian Tyres Russia, spotlights the main milestones in the common history of Russia and Finland. This reveals the details of the social, cultural and economic relations that existed between the residents of the Grand Duchy of Finland and other regions of the Russian Empire for many years.

It contains copies of the most important documents on the history of Russian-Finnish relations. The Treaty of Fredrikshamn (1809), the Treaty of Tartu (1920), the Manifesto of Alexander I on the state structure of Finland (1809), “Rescript on the language” of Alexander II (1863), which equalized the Finnish language in rights with Swedish. In addition, documents on the recognition of the independence of the Republic of Finland by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies (1917), etc.

Visitors of the exhibition can see the first edition of the famous Karelian and the Finnish poetic epic “Kalevala” in 1835:  

  • The Kalevala edition with illustrations made by the representative of the Golden Age of Finnish art Akseli Gallen-Kallela
  • Illustrated albums of the 18th-19th centuries, introducing the northern beauty of Finland
  • Plans of cities and fortresses
  • Postcards with views of the stations of the Finnish railway (Terijoki, Lanskaya, Udelnaya, Ozerki, Shuvalovo, Pargolovo, etc.), built according to the designs of Bruno Granholm, a prominent architect of “national romanticism”; photographs of the past and present of the Nokian Tyres factory, whose history began in 1898; and many other interesting materials. 

On the Presidential Library’s website, there is an electronic collection “Russia – Finland: The History of Relations”. The collection includes; studies, official and archival documents, cartographic and visual materials which spotlight the geographical, economic and legal position of Finland from ancient times to the beginning of the twentieth century, majority of the period of joining the Russian Empire as the Grand Duchy of Finland, as well as materials reflecting the current state of relations between our countries.

The partners of the exhibition “Russia – Finland: Marking the 100th anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Contacts” are as follows:

  • Historical and Documentary Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. 
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland, Russian State Historical Archives
  •  Russian State Navy Archives
  •  Central State Archives of Literature and Art of St. Petersburg
  •  The Leningrad Regional State Archives in the city of Vyborg
  • The M. Gorky Scientific Library of St. Petersburg State University
  • The National Library of Russia, the Russian Ethnographic Museum.

To visit the exhibition please register by phone +7 (812) 334-25-14 or send an email to excursion@prlib.ru.

A virtual tour of the exhibition will be available soon on the library’s website.


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