Monday, April 23, 2018

Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive – SA Kuva

Looking at photos of older times and events really helps us get closer to our ancestors. Photos allow us to see how our past family and relatives live, how people acted during certain events and times. It allows us to almost put ourselves right there in their shoes.

Picture from the home page of SA Kuva. Source: SA Kuva

We are lucky in this day and age of the internet to have access to numerous photo archives that depict many various times and events. The Finnish Defence Forces hosts their own photo archives, Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive (also known as SA Kuva), which holds over 160,000 photographs from early 1939 to the summer of 1945. These photos don’t just look at the army, the battles but also the home front, industry, civilians in their daily lives during these trying times. It is a really wide and in-depth archive.

Another plus to it is that the photos are licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0. This means you can distribute, edit and publish the photographs as long as SA-kuva is credited as the source. This is great for individuals like myself who want to post certain pictures on sites to accompany a piece.

The only downside to the archive, at least for non-Finns, is the search function only works with Finnish words and so requires at least some knowledge of Finnish. However, not all is lost though. There is a bunch of people over at forums who have marked the numbers of certain interesting pictures, allowing you to easily find certain items.

This source is really a valuble tool and is great at helping us understand a little more about those times in which Finland struggled against impossible odd.

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