University of Minnesota

Finlandia Foundation, Records

Finding Aid


Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Finlandia Foundation
Dates: ca. 1950-2000
Abstract: The material includes correspondence, newsletters, minutes, photographs, and various other documents, roughly organized chronologically within the various collections of papers.
Quantity: 7 lin. ft.
Language: English, some Finnish
Collection ID: IHRC3379


Seven boxes of historical material dealing with the fifty year history of the Finlandia Foundation and Finlandia Foundation Trust were delivered to the IHRC on Monday, October 10, 2005 by Jon L. Saari, a current Trustee of the Foundation. Saari, an historian at Northern Michigan University (Marquette, MI), used this material as the primary source material to write a history of the Foundation in 2003-2004; it was called "Black Ties and Miners' Boots: Inventing Finnish-American Philanthropy - A History of the Finlandia Foundation National 1953-2003". 8,000 copies were printed and distributed free of charge to members during 2003 and 2004; it has also been used as an outreach tool to publicize the Foundation's story to non-members. The Paloheimo Papers, Collanus Papers, and Kujala Papers were received from Trustee Paul Halme of Solvang, California, who is the executor of the Paloheimo Estate and former President of Finlandia Foundation. The Olkio Papers and Smith Tapes were received directly from Kalevi Olkio and Vera Smith in 2002.

Provenance sketch by Jon Saari, 2005.


Founded in 1953 in California by Yrjo Paloheimo, the Foundation's goals are to promote Finland in America and strengthen the Finnish American community, including both Finnish immigrants and their descendants, but also "non-Finn Finnophiles" (J. Saari). Over the 50-plus years of its history, the Foundation has developed a network of local chapters from Seattle to New York as well as individual supporters. Among the Foundation's charitable programs were the renowned Sibelius Memorial Scholarships and other grant-giving aimed primarily at supporting the arts, education and scholarship.

For more information about the Foundation, please visit their website.



The Finlandia Foundation collection is available for public research.


The Finlandia Foundation collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Reseach Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regrading the copyright, please contact the IHRC.


The Finlandia Foundation Records, Finnish American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms


Description of Series

This section briefly describes each series in the collection. A more detailed description of the contents of each series may be found in the following section.

SERIES 1. Yrjo Paloheimo

SERIES 2. Gertrude Kujala

SERIES 3. Otto Collanus

SERIES 4. Kalevi Olkio

SERIES 5. Audio tapes

Recordings of Finlandia Foundation Board Meetings made by Vera Smith.

Detailed Description of the Collection

SERIES 1. Yrjo Paloheimo

BOX 1. Paloheimo
BOX 2. Paloheimo
BOX 3. Paloheimo

SERIES 2. Gertrude Kujala

BOX 2. Kujala
Contains some oversized material

SERIES 3. Otto Collanus

BOX 3. Collanus

SERIES 4. Kalevi Olkio

BOX 4. Olkio
BOX 5. Olkio
BOX 6. Olkio

SERIES 5. Audio tapes

Recordings of Finlandia Foundation Board Meetings made by Vera Smith.
BOX 7. Audio

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