Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society
Preserving Finnish Canadian Heritage in Northwestern Ontario

Historical Collection

The Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society is dedicated to preserving records documenting Finnish history in the Northwestern Ontario region. Many individuals in the community have already generously donated photographs, papers, and ledgers of Finnish people and organizations. This archival collection is housed at the Lakehead University Library Archives, and is fully accessible to the public. It is one of the premier ethnic collections in Canada and offers a wide scope of material documenting the religious, social, economic, political and cultural history of Finns in the region.
Many students from the University as well as local researchers have found the collection to be an invaluable source, and it is only with your donations of records that we can continue to document the importance of Finnish peoples to Canadian history.
The Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society Archival collection contains more than 5000 photographs, 800 play manuscripts, and 200 oral history audio cassettes. The collection covers numerous areas of Finnish Canadian history, however, some of the subject strengths are:
1. Finnish Theater
2. Finnish Labour and Socialist Organizations
3. Finnish Sports Organizations
4. Finnish Religious Organizations
5. Finnish Immigration
Access to the collection is through the Northern Studies Resource Centre on the 5th floor of the Chancellor Patterson Library at Lakehead University. Click here to see the Centre’s hours (
While using the archival collection there are several rules you will have to follow including only using pencil, wearing gloves (supplied by the University) while handling photos, and asking permission prior to photocopying anything. You must also sign a researcher agreement indicating you will follow these rules. To learn more about the archives please visit the website at (
If you are interested in donating items to the Archives you should first consult with the Archivist at the Lakehead University Library Archives. All donations are given jointly to the Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society and the Lakehead University Library Archives. This is to ensure that the material ends up as part of the Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society collection, and it also gives the Archives the legal right to work on the collection, provide access to it, and scan items from it.
• For more information about donating to the Archives, contact Northern Studies Resource Centre 807 343-8728

• Click here for more information about donating records to the Lakehead University Library Archives