Contemporary Collecting

The development and coordination of contemporary collecting is the core task of our network. By the methods of contemporary collecting the museums are able to collect new material or complement their existing collections. It allows the present-day or recent phenomena, like everyday manners and items, environments, modes of transport, occupational groups or events, to be collected for the future generations as our common cultural heritage.

Our pool museums work together in contemporary collecting projects. We coordinate a biannual contemporary collecting campaign day , where museums all over Finland document the same theme during one specific day. The museums choose their own perspective and subject according to their respective sector and mission.

In the spring of 2020 TAKO invited museums to a meeting that focussed on contemporary documentation around Covid-19, future plans, practical tips and opportunities for collaborative documentation. At the same time an overall picture of the collected themes was built and a discussion was had on the common listing policies.

The TAKO network also gives awards for museums that have made a special effort for contemporary collecting. A biannual award was founded in 2019 to encourage museums to do contemporary collecting and develop the methods for it, and further increase the visibility of contemporary documentation and collecting duties.

The first TAKO-coordinated collective documentation campaign was held in 2018. The museums documented and saved Finnish happiness in their collections during one day. The event was inspired by the spring 2018 UN happiness report that named Finland the happiest country in the world. During the event numerous interviews of Finns of various ages were collected, as well as photos of happy moments and items related to the theme. Satakunta Museum interviewed the inhabitants of Pori about happiness. Photograph: Timo Nordlund, Satakunta Museum
The theme for the 2020 contemporary collecting event was consumption. The event was characterised by the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected the work of museum professionals as well as some of the documentation objects. When documenting consumption the museums also collected aspects of the sustainable and unsustainable dimensions of modern consumption. The museum professionals of the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas working on the contemporary collecting of Tarastenjärvi waste centre during the consumption documentation event. Photograph: Antti Makkonen, Finnish Labour Museum Werstas
The 2021 Contemporary Collection Award was given to the UPM Kaipola Mill community. The award was accepted by the Senior Curator of the Museum of Central Finland, Virpi Mäkinen (left). The Finnish National Museum, represented by Curator Maria Ollila, received an honorable mention for the costume culture of Romani collecting project. An additional honorable mention was awarded to all Finnish museums for Covid-19 documentation. Photograph: Reetta Lepistö, Vapriikki Photo Archives, 2021.
Documentation of travel and mobility restrictions in West Terminal (T2) and on Eckerö Line’s M/S Finlandia on 17 March 2020. Photograph: Mikko Patrikainen, Finnish Heritage Agency, 2020.