Société Finno-Ougrienne – Finno-Ugrian Society


The Finno-Ugrian Society is one of the oldest and largest learned societies in Finland. Ever since its founding, the society has striven to promote the research of Uralic and Altaic languages, the ethnography of their speakers as well as the latter's historical and prehistorical past.

The first years of this organization's history were marked by an abundance of fieldwork; expeditions and individuals were sent into the field to collect material. Before the Russian revolution, a number of Uralic linguists and cultural researchers such as Kai Donner, Uno Holmberg-Harva, Artturi Kannisto, Kustaa Fredrik Karjalainen, Lauri Kettunen, Toivo Lehtisalo, Heikki Paasonen, Emil Nestor Setälä, Uuno Taavi Sirelius and Yrjö Wichmann were not only able to go afield but also managed to collect vast materials which soon proved invaluable to future research.

Activities gradually moved to publication of collected materials and research work in this area. The society continues to publish several series: Aikakauskirja ~ Journal, Toimituksia ~ Mémoires ("Proceedings"), Lexica ("Dictionaries and vocabularies"), Kansatieteellisiä julkaisuja ~ Travaux ethnographiques ("Ethnographical Publications"), and Apuneuvoja ~ Hilfsmittel ("Study Aids"). In collaboration with the Finno-Ugrian Language Section at the University of Helsinki the Society now publishes the Uralica Helsingiensia series. Previously the Society had published Castrenianumin toimitteita in collaboration with the departments of Castrenianum at the University of Helsinki. In addition the Society has provided support for the publication of Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen ("Finno-Ugrian Studies") since 1901. (See Publications.)

Aside from its publication work, the society offers grants for research and fieldwork in areas pertinent to the fields encompassed by the society. The society's archives and collections are open to researchers. (Application for the permission to use the archives should be submitted either to the secretary or the board. Applications are accepted between the beginning of September and the end of April. Applications are not considered during the summer.) The society has organized meetings with presentations on an annual average of nine starting with its founding in 1883.

Today, there are approximately 1000 members (the figure includes regular, honorary and correspondence members). New members are cordially welcome.

The president of the Society is Professor Riho Grünthal and the secretary is PhD Susanna Virtanen. The office of the Society is located in Helsinki (Tieteiden talo ~ House of Science and Letters).