Collection activities

Current events in the collections
Collection management

Museums that maintain collections are professionally managed institutions guided by legislation, international guidelines and museum-specific collection policies.

Collection management includes activities related to the reception of materials, such as drafting agreements and processing the materials as a precaution against pests. The materials are then catalogued into the collection management system and photographed. In the collection facilities, they are appropriately prepared for storage. Works of art are mounted on display at the University campuses, and often they have to be moved because of renovations or unit relocations. We also loan objects and works of art to exhibitions.

Appropriate cataloguing and preservation of collections enhance their openness and accessibility. Researchers are welcome to study the collections in the collection facilities upon agreement.

Collection policy

The collection policy serves as a manual for the museum’s collection activities. It defines principles for preservation and provides information on the history, management and accessibility of the collections. The policy assesses the current status of collection activities and sets objectives for the future. Our collection policy dates from 2019.

Read more: Collection policy (PDF)

Collection facilities

Only a small part of our collections is on display in exhibitions. The rest is well preserved and cared for in our collection facilities. We have collections on the University’s City Centre Campus and in the modern facilities meeting museum requirements rented from the Finnish Heritage Agency's Collection and Conservation Centre in Vantaa.

TAKO: Network for Collections Management and Contemporary Documentation in Finland

We participate in collaboration between museum professionals through the Network for Collections Management and Contemporary Documentation in Finland (TAKO). The network coordinates the division of collecting duties between museums according to themes and organises contemporary collecting campaigns. During the contemporary collecting campaign in 2020, the theme of which was consumer behaviour, the University Museum documented aspects of student meals during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2022 the campaign focused on freedom

News from the collections
Head of Collections Jaana Tegelberg receives Finnish Museums Association medal

The Board of the Finnish Museums Association bestowed four distinguished museum professionals with its highest honour, a medal designed by Kauko Räsänen. Among the recipients was our Head of Collections Jaana Tegelberg. The medals were presented to the recipients at the national museum days in Helsinki on 25 May 2023.

Jaana Tegelberg has worked with exceptional determination to advance the activities of Helsinki University Museum and the cultural heritage of the Finnish academic community. Her career has been marked by demanding projects to salvage and relocate collections and the overall development of operations. Under her leadership challenges related to storage facilities and museum collections containing harmful substances have been solved so that Helsinki University Museum has been able to share the lessons learned with other museums both in Finland and abroad. Over the years, Tegelberg has been responsible for recruiting a number of trainees and staff members, in fact, many current experts in the field have taken their first steps in the profession under her tutelage.

Our warmest congratulations to all the award recipients!

A new blog presenting collections

Our Object of the Month blog, published since 2019, was updated in June 2024 as a new blog, Illuminating the collections. We will no longer update the Object of the Month blog base, but previous Object of the Month posts will continue to be readable. We want to make our versatile collections even better known. In the Illuminating the collections blog, we present objects, works of art and photographs, perhaps also archival material.