The National Library is the oldest and largest research library in the country. Its responsibilities include the collection, description, preservation, and accessibility of all material printed in Finland, as well as of the collections under its care. Today, it also has an extensive archive of digitised material. The Library is administrated under the University of Helsinki.
The building, designed by architect Carl Ludvig Engel, was inaugurated in 1845. It was renovated in 1879–1881 by Frans Sjöström and extended in 1906, when the Rotunda annex was built. In the 1950s, the storage facilities having become insufficient, an underground repository complex was excavated beneath the nearby university building Porthania. Lately, considerable renovations have been done in 1998–2000 (Rotunda), 2000 (inauguration of the new book cave under the library), 2011–2012 (the façade of the main building), and 2012–2015 (Rotunda and the main building).
The main entrance to the Library and to the Cupola Hall where the welcome fair takes place is from Unioninkatu 36. The Agricola room and the Gallery for exhibitions are in the ground floor of Rotunda which is accessed through the Cupola Hall.
The entrance to the Auditorium is from Yliopistonkatu 1 (door to Yliopistonkatu, with number 9 atop). You should ring the doorbell, which will connect to the janitor. The Auditorium is in the second floor.
Disabled access is also from Yliopistonkatu 1, through the courtyard.
Tram 2 runs between Apollonkatu stop near Töölö Towers and Senate Square (Senaatintori) stop on Aleksanterinkatu south of the University Main Building. Tram 4 runs between Senate Square stop and Hesperia Park (Hesperian puisto) stop on Mannerheimintie.
Events and exhibitions
On the map
The conference dinner takes place in the Argelander Hall at the Helsinki Observatory on the evening of Friday 24 August. The building, set on Tähtitorninvuori hill (Observatory hill), was designed by architect C. L. Engel and Professor of Astronomy F. W. A. Argelander, who a few years earlier had seen together to the construction of a new observatory in Turku. After the Great Fire of Turku (1827), the University was relocated in the new capital, Helsinki, which necessitated the building of the Observatory. Completed in 1834, it has since housed many professors of astronomy and their families. Today, the Observatory accommodates the Helsinki University Museum's Centre for Astronomy.
To reach the Observatory from the National Library (a ca.-15-minute walk), take Unioninkatu which becomes Kopernikuksentie at the foot of Tähtitorninvuori hill. Walk up to the gate at the end of Kopernikuksentie 1, through the forecourt and the main entrance at its back, and up the stairs to the second floor. The entrance to the Argelander Hall is through the corridor to the left. The entrance to the Meridian Hall and the other exhibition rooms is to the right.
Disabled access is through the garden at the back of the building. To get there, turn right before the main gate and take the lane to the garden gate. Cloakroom and facilities are in the first floor to the right of the main entrance.
If you would like to participate in the guided tour of the beautiful Meridian Hall before the dinner (entrance fee € 6/7/8, includes possibility to visit the other exhibition rooms from 6:15pm onwards), we politely ask you to arrive by 6:40pm.
Return to Töölö Towers: Tram 2 goes from Eteläranta stop to Apollonkatu stop near Töölö Towers. Tram 10 runs from Kirurgi stop on Kasarmikatu to Hesperia Park (Hesperian puisto) stop on Mannerheimintie. There's a taxi station in Eteläranta next to the tram stop, and another in Viiskulma at Laivurinrinne 2. To order a taxi, you can also call 0100 0700.
The Observatory on the map
The Porvoo (Borgå in Swedish) Gymnasium Library (Lukiokatu 10), founded in 1728, is the oldest public library in Finland. Its origins are in Vyborg, Karelia, where the Gymnasium was founded in 1641. The teaching was originally in Latin. In 1723, following the transfer of Vyborg to the Tsardom of Russia, the Gymnasium was moved to Porvoo. Subsequently, Swedish replaced Latin as the language of teaching. Today, the Library is housed in the school building of the Gymnasium dating back to the 1840s. Its collections are especially notable for the many manuscripts, maps, incunabula and other printed items mainly from the 15th to the 19th century.
The bus for Porvoo leaves from Senate Square (the square at the corner of the National Library) at 12 noon on Saturday 25. The return is from Kirkkotori 1, in front of the Porvoo Cathedral, at 4pm.
See the Gymnasium and the Porvoo Cathedral on the map.