The National Digital Library developed the availability and usability of digital cultural heritage and library repositories

During its tenure, the National Digital Library (NDL) has grown to become a major repository and service entity, operating model and center for expertise. The results of an external evaluation of the NDL project were overall positive, and the project managed to achieve its goals well or somewhat well in all areas. The published final project report describes, in particular, the operations and results of the third NDL project term (2014–2017).

The National Digital Library (NDL) was a project run by the Ministry of Education and Culture from 2008 to 2017 for the purpose of developing solutions for the effective and high-quality creation, management, distribution and long-term preservation of digital cultural heritage and library repositories. The NDL has been the most extensive joint project of cultural heritage organizations in Finland. It has enhanced cooperation between the library, archive and museum sectors as well as led to the internal co-ordination, prioritization of needs and elimination of redundancies in each sector.


The project results demonstrate that the availability of reliable, high-quality information, regardless of time or place, is an invaluable resource for society. A cultural heritage open to all and linked to daily life promotes social pluralism, interaction and inclusion. NDL operations has produced concrete solutions and services for use in production as well as more abstract results, such as an increased familiarity between sectors and the cost benefits offered by the introduction of shared services.

The NDL operates in extensive cooperation with another important Ministry of Education and Culture project, the Open Science and Research Initiative. The results of both projects will be used in efforts to promote research openness and digital cultural heritage. The services provided by the NDL - Finna, which improves the availability of materials, and Cultural Heritage PAS, which promotes the long-term preservation of materials--will remain in operation. 

The National Digital Library is responsible for the Finna service CSC for the Cultural Heritage PAS. The services will continue to be developed in cooperation with participating organizations and other stakeholders.

Beginning in 2018, the National Digital Library will be responsible for providing information on news and compatibility matters concerning the digital cultural heritage entity as well as for promoting cooperation in the sector. A website, which will be launched later in the spring, will serve as the primary communications channel.

Finna currently has materials and services from 230 libraries, archives and museums. New organizations are joining Finna constantly. Seven organizations are currently joined with the Cultural Heritage PAS, which is responsible for promoting the preservation of digital materials. The extent of materials to be preserved will increase in the near future. The NDL project has also had a major impact on increasing expertise as well as improving the compatibility of information and systems.

The NDL has played a direct role in facilitating the effective and reliable production, distribution, management and long-term preservation of digital cultural heritage materials as well as expanding services related to them. Furthermore, the project has promoted the availability and use of cultural heritage materials.

Kansallinen digitaalinen kirjasto; Loppuraportti hankekaudelta 2014–2017 (available only in Finnish)

Further information:

Counsellor of Cultural Affairs Minna Karvonen, MEC, tel. +358 (0)2953 30142
Senior Adviser Tapani Sainio, MEC, tel. +358 (0)2953 30336

Director of Library Network Services Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, National Library of Finland, tel. +358 (0)50 552 3056,

Cultural Heritage PAS: 
Development Manager Kimmo Koivunen, CSC – IT Center for Science,
tel. +358 (0)9 457 2001,

External assessment of the NDL project Performance review 13 Oct 2017 (pdf)