Finnish Records Are Still Accessible at Lakehead University Archives During Covid-19

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Finnish Records Are Still Accessible at Lakehead University Archives During Covid-19

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The Lakehead University Archives is currently shut down, along with other university buildings, but staff are still hard at work protecting and developing the collections. Sara Janes and Kathy Traynor are working from home, improving descriptions and increasing access to digitized materials, and regularly checking to make sure everything’s still well at the Library.

LU Archives is the repository for the Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society Collection, and many other records reflecting the history of Finnish immigrants and Finnish-Canadians in our region. Here’s a quick overview of some of our collections: 

Amerikan Laulajat Fonds

An umbrella organization for Finnish male choruses in North America. The records relate to the organization’s administration, finances, and major events. An English-language description is available.

Cairine Budner Fonds

Records created, held, and gathered by Cairine Budner during her association with the TBFCHS and other local heritage and sports organizations. Includes oral history interviews, and historical photographs and documents gathered from the community. Currently being processed. 

Canadan Suomalainen Jarjesto Fonds

Records of the Canadan Suomalainen Järjestö [Finnish Organization of Canada], Vapaus Publishing Company (responsible for publishing Vapaus and Liekki and other publications), Suomalais-Canadalaisen Amatoori Urheiluliiton [Finnish-Canadian Amateur Sports Federation], co-operatives, and more. Includes meeting minutes, reports, financial statements, and correspondence. An English-language description is available. 

Canadan Teollisuusunionistinen Kannatus Liitto Fonds

The Canadan Teollisuusunionistinen Kannatus Liitto (Canadian Industrial Union Support Circle) comprised of supporters of industrial unionism who formed associations in their own local communities. The records include minutes, correspondence, financial records, and publications, including for the following organizations: Finnish Building Company, Hoito Restaurant, One Big Union, CTKL, Industrial Workers of the World, Lumber Workers Industrial Union #120, and Canadian News Service. An English-language description is available.

Canadan Uutiset Fonds

Records of the Canadan Uutiset, a Finnish-language newspaper based in Port Arthur/Thunder Bay from 1915 to 2000. The records include correspondence and circulation information. Inventoried, but further description is needed.

Finlandia Club Collection

Records and minute books of: Hoito Restaurant; Port Arthur Workingmen’s Association: Imatra no. 9; C.T.K.L. (Canadian Industrial Unions: Port Arthur’s Finnish Association); C.U.T. (Canadian News Service) and C.T.K.L.; Finlandia Club; Finnish Socialist Local no. 6: Port Arthur; Lumber Workers’ Industrial Union of the One Big Union; New Attempt Temperance Society; Finnish Athletic Club: Nahjus; Finnish Building Company. Inventoried, but further description is needed.

Finnish Building Company Fonds

The Finnish Building Company was formed in 1909 and raised funds for the construction of the Finnish Labour Temple. Requires further description.

Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society Collection

A vast and varied collection of records documenting the experiences of Finnish immigrants to Northwestern Ontario. Includes correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, interviews, published material, and ephemera. The photograph collection is extensive and covers a wide range of subjects. An English-language finding aid is available.

The Archives is adding more and more photographs, from these collections and others, to our Digital Collections page at Check those out, and get in touch if you’ve got any information to add! You can always find out more about the archives and these projects at

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