Library of the Labour Movement

The Library of the Labour Movement (Työväenliikkeen kirjasto) is a special library located in Helsinki, Finland. The library’s diverse collection is open for everyone and broadly focuses on the labour movement, trade unions and labour history.

Regular opening hours

Note! The library is closed on the 11th of February.

Tuesday 10:00 – 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 – 17:00
Thursday 10:00 – 16:00
Friday 10:00 – 16:00

Self-service from 10:00 until 12:00. The library is closed on mondays.

Protection against the coronavirus at the Library of the Labour Movement

  • The library has a mask recommendation in effect.
  • The library instructs you to maintain a sufficient distance from other visitors as well as staff members, practise good hygiene and visit the library only when you are healthy. Moreover, those in quarantine may not physically visit the library.
  • The restrooms have guidelines for washing your hands, and there is hand sanitiser at the library entrance and at the self-service point.
  • The library has boosted the cleaning of contact surfaces, and there are cleaning wipes for use at the lending machine.
  • The library recommends using the self-service point for borrowing and returns.
  • There is a cough shield between the service desk and library visitors.
  • To expedite your visit, the area by the front entrance has a self-service point for borrowing and returns as well as carts for reserved books, carts for returned books and new releases which can all be borrowed. There is also a box for returns by the entrance both inside and outside the library. Returns can also be left in the box outside when the library is closed.
  • The library staff will ensure that close contact can be avoided. The number of visitors will be limited as necessary.
  • Library spaces are available for visitors on a limited basis to ensure sufficient physical distance between people. The placement of seats will also ensure this.
  • Spending more time in the library than necessary is not recommended.
  • The library services and opening hours may have to be reduced during the pandemic.
  • Public events and general meetings are not allowed, following the restrictions as given by the Regional State Administrative Agency.

Contact details


Library of the Labour Movement
Sornaisten rantatie 25 A 1
00500 Helsinki, Finland
email: perinne (at) (front desk)
tel. (+358) 09766429 (during opening hours)

For interlibrary loans, please contact us at our e-mail address listed above. We accept IFLA-vouchers.

Library Director

Tuija Siimes, tuija.siimes (at)


When the library was founded, the Finnish Labour Archives and People’s Archives donated their libraries almost entirely to it. The most important parts of the book and booklet collections are the materials of the (mainly Finnish) labour movement and trade union organisations, ideological literature, biographical studies, business and cooperation of the labour movement, and working-class culture (theatre, music, sport, tradition, cultural work, press and fiction). The collections also include among other things literature on working life and general political and historical literature. There are about 120 000 monographies and 30 000 booklets in the library’s collections.

The periodicals collection consists of magazines published by labour movement organisations and other periodicals. There are about 5.000 titles in the collection. The video collection, with about 180 titles, consists of films that deal with mainly the Finnish labour movement.

New acquisitions are focused on social policy and history, as well as literature on working class history and labour movement.

The materials donated by the two archives have been partially catalogued, alphabetically and/or systematically. Newer materials are catalogued in databases. There are now about 90 000 book titles and about 3000 periodical titles in the databases. Printed catalogues on some special collections are available also in digitized form in the Helda-database.