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Home » Campus News and Events » January 2011-University News Archive » 1-6-11, Finlandia Archive Receives Major Artifact Donation


FinlSouminen Artifact Collectionandia Archive Receives Major Artifact Donation

HANCOCK, MI -Finlandia University's Finnish American Historical Archive and Museum recently received a major artifacts donation from Ethel Suominen of Brooklyn, New York, in memory of her late husband, Veikko Suominen.

The 100-piece donation represents a significant addition to the collections of the Finnish American Historical Archives and Museum.

The majority of the objects are from Mr. Suominen's Finland birthplace, the Suominen farm in the former parish of Rymättylä (now Naantali) of southwest Finland.

The Suominens resided in a neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., known as "Finntown." Their antique collections have been featured in New York City newspapers, the English Daily News, the New Yorkin Uutiset, and newspapers in Finland.

Souminen Artifact Collection"Veikko was very proud of his antique collection," Randell said. "Mrs. Suominen felt that donation of the Finnish items in his collection was a meaningful way to honor his memory."

The collection of 19th century household and farm objects includes two spinning wheels from 1851 and 1872, a niddy-noddy used to wind yarn into skeins, 19th Century ice skates, two home-made fishing nets, one made by Mr. Suominen as a teenager, equestrian equipment, ice walkers, and numerous other hand-made 19th century household items and tools.

Artwork includes two prints of Turku scenes by architect Aare Laiho, Finnish tapestries, and a custom-made Brazilian butterfly wing serving tray created by Carlos Zipperer Sobrinho.

Souminen Artifact CollectionThe collection also includes signed commendations to Mr. Suominen from Interim President and Grand Marshal Mannerheim of Finland and U.S. President Harry Truman in recognition of Suominen's military service in Finland's Winter War (1939-1940) and his service in the United States Army during World War II (1943 to 1945), respectively.

"The Finnish American Historical Archive is always grateful for donors such as these," said James Kurtti, director of the Finnish American heritage Center. "The preservation of Finnish-American history is largely dependent on people with the foresight to keep the materials that tell their ancestors' stories - and on those who understand that an archive is the ideal home for such materials."

Kent Randell

The 100-piece Veikko Suominen artifact collection can be viewed in the Archive Reading Room on the lower level of the Finnish American Heritage Center during normal business hours.

For additional information, please contact archivist Kent Randell at 906-487-7347.

Photo cutlines:

Kent Randell.jpg: Kent Randell, archivist for the Finnish American Historical Archive and Museum at Finlandia University

Suominen Collection-007.jpg, Suominen Collection-011.jpg, Suominen Collection-012.jpg: Items from the Suominen object collection