Music industry

“Sounds of a century”

A digitizing project of all recordings issued in Finland since 1901 is currently under way at the Music Library.

Together with the Finnish National Sound Archive they form Finland’s most extensive public recording archive covering approximately 150,000 recordings, beginning in 1901. The archive will contain almost all the recordings issued in Finland.

From 1981 onwards the Library has received legal deposit copies of all music and voice recordings produced in Finland. Vintage recordings are acquired for the Finnish National Sound Archive retroactively. The collection currently contains approximately 80% of Finland¿s recordings.


digitizing project for Finnish recordings
Because portions of the recordings are made of deteriorating archive material highly susceptible to damage, their preservation is urgent. Digitizing all Finnish 78 rpm discs is the first task of the “Sounds of a Century” project. Copyright-free digitized recordings can be heard online through the Raita database.

viola-pic1Recordings may not be taken out of the Library, but can be heard in the Music Library by special order. Music recordings are catalogued in the Viola database. Audio books, magazines and other information concerning voice recordings can be found in the Fennica database.



The turntable used for digitizing the 78 rpm records is Simon Yorke Designs, Precision Analogue Transcription System; A Professional Archive Turntable, PAT2, with two 9″ unipivot S7 tonearms. Manufactured in Spain in 2004.


Speed range: 10,00 – 120,00 rpm
Disc capacity: up to 14,0″ diameter
Controls: off/on; computer/manual control; forward/reverse; stall/run.
Drive: dual belt drive.
Motor: Airpax dc ironless rotor.
Encoder: Hewlett Packard optical.
Servo: ‘soft’ servo control via motor shaft, not turntable platter.
Speed set: 10,00 – 120,00 inclusive – settable to two decimal places.
PC Interface: RS232C Serial port (9 pin D socket input).
Tonearms: 2 off 9″ nominal tonearm; CW tracing.
Adjustments: VTA, bias, downforce, overhang, azimuth, cue.
Alignment: SME 9″ standard; null at 66,0 & 120,9 mm

More info on the technical side of the project will be added here soon.

viola-pic5VIOLA – The National Discography of Finland

VIOLA is the Finnish national discography and the national bibliography of sheet music. It also contains references to foreign materials in 13 Finnish music library collections. VIOLA contains references to Finnish sheet music since 1977 and to sound recordings since 1901.

viola-pic7Cataloging covers both the whole recording/publication and the individual compositions contained in it. Searches can be made with, e.g., the name of the composer or the performer as well as the title or the first line of a song.

Searching in VIOLA is free of charge.

viola-pic8Copy cataloguing via Z39.50 is subject to a fee for all, and requires a contract. Finnish public libraries have a license for copy cataloguing.


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