The FINNISH HERITAGE MUSEUM
in Northeastern Ohio to preserve Finnish and Finnish/North American Heritage
for future generations. FHM
is in the preliminary stages of developing
its permanent collections. Objects selected for our collections will provide
all visitors with an opportunity to learn about and better understand Finnish
and Finnish/North American history and culture. They are vital aspects of our
educational mission. We encourage everyone who supports this goal to consider
donating historical objects and/or funding specifically for that purpose. Please
help us grow as we work towards preserving a most distinguished and deserving
history. Please contact us.
The FINNISH HERITAGE MUSEUM continues
developing the following four collection categories related to our slogan: "Then and Now/Ennen ja Nyt."
Real Collections: FHM is collecting
objects that help explain, document, and reflect life in Finland, traveling
to North America, and life in North America. How do we define "life?" It means
work, play, sport, family, church, etc.; essentially all of the things we do
everyday. Categories will include such items as those selected to describe aspects
of the home, leisure, farm, and business. The list includes all forms of Textiles
(clothes, table coverings, lace, rugs, fabric, knitted items, etc.), Kitchenware
(cooking utensils, coffee pots, cookbooks, bakery items, etc.), Decorative Arts
in all materials (paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, art glass, etc.),
Furniture, Toys, Objects of Communication (letters, postcards, photographs,
note cards), Finnish Souvenir/Muistot (remembrances from Finland, especially those
that were handmade or those that commemorated a special event like the 1952
Olympics), Handmade Tools, Handmade and/or Hand Decorated Boxes, Birch and Pine
Basketry, Storage and Immigrant Trunks, Military Service/Patriotism, Sheathed
Knife/Puukko, Currency (old types of money), perhaps an entire example of a
household Sauna, etc. FHM is particularly interested in objects that
help tell the story of Finnish life there and here.
VIRTUAL COLLECTIONS: Digital images
and information on these topics and others are being collected specifically
for use on this website. Examples already under consideration are a virtual
exhibit of the History of Glass Making in Finland, Hall of Fame of Important
Finns and Finnish/North Americans, Finnish and Finnish/North American Textiles,
Puukaasutin/Wood Burning Vehicles, and Ryijyt/Finnish Rugs. Other virtual exhibits
the FHM may focus on include Greeting Cards, Photographs, The Sauna,
Traditional Recipes, and Souvenir Items. One of our goals is to humanize these
objects by displaying photographs of Finns and Finnish/North Americans doing
all of the things we do as humans in a very special "Finn Family Album." What
wonderful pictures are in your family album that you might share with us?
RESEARCH MATERIALS /LIBRARY: This category
includes a wide range of material such as paper ephemera, books, music, letters,
boat and airplane tickets, passports, photographs, printed papers, genealogical
information, and any other item that provides important data deemed useful for
the stated purposes of the FHM. Some can be photocopies but some should
be originals to be kept for long-term preservation. Finns have subtle but important
cultural identities like being on time and paying one's debt. Identifiable intangibles
like those should be part of the Reference Library. They help document what
happened, why it happened, or why it will happen.
CELEBRATING LANGUAGE: The Finnish Heritage Museum is dedicated to presenting
and celebrating authentic and appropriate language as it relates to time, region,
and societal influence and to communicating language in such a manner as to
make those words relevant to the present. FHM bylaws obligate us to present
information clearly and appropriately, without prejudice or bias. But, we also
realize all written and spoken languages (Finnish and English in this case)
are living entities, changing daily through use. When words are translated from
one language to another, inherent nuances, inflections, and original meanings
may be unintentionally altered. Translation confusions are inevitable, causing
comments like "that isn't quite right" to arise. Although disagreements
concerning exact usage of particular words, phrases and spellings will occur,
we recognize and accept this challenge as vital to our educational examination
of Finnish heritage, past and present-Then and Now/Ennen ja Nyt.
We invite you to regard interpretation variables in the same positive light.
Translation is not an exact science. Imagine, for example, how language has
dramatically evolved since the first prehistoric symbols of communication were
scratched onto rocks and then fast forward your thoughts to the current age
of digital cyberspace. FHM will document future discussions of language evolution
as an integral aspect of ongoing Finnish culture studies.
COLLECTING GENEALOGICAL DATA: A dedicated group, affectionately known as the "Genies" have begun collecting, sorting, and cataloging data on the Finnish families that have been so instrumental in settling and imprinting Fairport's rich heritage. FInns have had a tremendous impact on this village in cultural values and actual residency.
We welcome your comments.
Finnish Heritage Museum
The establishment of a new museum in the twenty-first century poses a number
of challenging and interesting questions. There are simultaneous practical problems
to solve and philosophical ideals to pursue. Realistically, it is not feasible
to assemble a large collection of high quality antique artifacts rivaling those
of longer established museums. We can, however, focus on developing smaller
collections and collections previously less popularized. We can also be inspired
by the wonderful hopes and dreams of our immigrant ancestry.
They were courageous
people who left the security of family and home in pursuit of a better life.
Each arrived with a tireless work ethic, a strong religious foundation, a belief
in family, and a conviction for the value of a good education. The Finnish immigrant
came to this continent determined to actively participate in its growth. We
intend to celebrate their contributions.
The Finnish Heritage Museum adopted a guiding slogan, which considers
that there is an Old World - New World connection that has significant meaning. "Then and Now / Ennen ja Nyt" is an indication of the museum's
intention to preserve information related to Finnish and Finnish/American heritage
The Finnish Heritage Museum thus has an educational mission. The preservation
of information will require several parallel paths. One path will follow similar
traditional museum collections. Our museum will focus on organizing a variety
of collections through purchase and donation that are related to the Old and
New World connection. A generalized sampling of those collections includes objects
made of textiles, glass, ceramics, wood, and copper.
A second path utilizes twenty-first century technology. This museum website
permits us to easily reach a worldwide audience. Information can be effortlessly
preserved and shared with millions globally. The digital super highway avoids
barriers common to traditional real life exhibitions. Virtual exhibitions do
not put rare objects at risk. They do not require the substantial efforts or
expenses normally associated with packing, travel, insurance, and housing. A
virtual plan offers stimulating innovative possibilities. Hopefully, it will
open a dialog spanning the globe.
Our third pathway involves the development of a Research Library. This will
be accomplished primarily through the donation of books and genealogical data.
The library will be invaluable in planning for actual and virtual collections,
programs, and exhibitions. It will also provide an additional resource to help
preserve cultural and historically relevant facts.
The Finnish Heritage Museum is excited about the future. We invite you
to join us as we begin exploring this fascinating world.
For more information, you may contact FHM through our website: http://FinnishHeritageMuseum.org and/or through email to any of the officers found on the
contact us page or by email.
Regular snail mail can be sent to: Finnish Heritage Museum, Box 1121 301 High Street, Fairport Harbor,
Ohio USA 44077. To reach us by telephone: (440) 352-8301. Best to call on Saturdays between 9 AM and 3 PM.