The European aspect of promoting literary heritage
During the Grundtvig-project “Comparing Learning Opportunities in the Field of Literary Heritage”, The Federation of Finnish Writer's Associations has obtained a unique opportunity to get acquainted with literary organizations and writers’ museums in Estonia, Greece, Luxembourg and Hungary. There are no year-round, free-of-cost writer's museums in Finland. However, the safeguarding of literature as such is taken very seriously in Finland. Material has been digitized and literary archives can be found both at regional and national levels. The Finnish National Library holds a considerable amount of rare Russian literature, as Finland was part of Russia for a long time.
There are many small, local writer's homes or ateliers that preserve a writer's memory, but these are open to the public only during limited periods of the year. Aleksis Kivi (1834-1872), a Finnish national writer, has local museums preserving his work at his birthplace in Nurmijärvi, the cabin where he died in Tuusula and a copy of his workroom in Seurasaari, as well as a new construction built according to an old model in Siuntio, where the writer lived and worked. These places, which honour the writer's life and production are notable, local attractions. During the summers, in addition to the chance to visit the exhibitions, these sites host plays, concerts, seminars etc.
Near the national poet Eino Leino's (1878-1926) birthplace in Paltaniemi's Hövelö, a replica house has been built, which is maintained and owned by the Kainuu Eino association together with Elias Lönnrot association. The house contains collected memorabilia about the two writers and the programme emphasises their literary production. In order to secure the finances of the house, varied cultural events are organized there and it is also available for outside events like weddings.
Elias Lönnrot's (1802-1884) birthplace, the Paikkari Torppa in Sammatti, is currently threatened, as the Finnish National Board of Antiquities has given up its maintenance. Nimikot is taking part in an initiative to preserve the writer's house as a cultural resort.
The conservation of writers’ houses and for them to remain a part of the Finnish cultural activity is essential. This entails national organization. Consequently, Nimikot is collecting information of all the ateliers and writers’ residences which carry a particular writer's name and are open to the public. The goal is to build a cooperation network for the writers' residences and thus disseminate more information to the public concerning the activities, opening hours, location etc. of the houses/exhibition rooms/museums. This information will be published at Nimikot home page. Thanks to the Grundtvig-project, much information has been obtained about the successful marketing of writers’ houses.