Since the late 1990s, the Finnish government has emphasised the central role of the new ICT in economic and social development. In the early 2000s, new information policy programmes were outlined and strategic plans written by governments and ministries, but most of them were concerned either with instruments (the techniques of distribution and reception) or contents (knowledge, educative material). This division corresponded by and large with the division of jurisdictions between the Ministry of Employment and Economy and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The National Digital Library (NDL) is a project of the Ministry of Education and Culture which aims to ensure that electronic materials of Finnish culture and science are managed with a high standard, are easily accessed and securely preserved into the future. One objective of the National Digital Library project is to promote libraries, archives and museums to digitize their materials and by so doing improve their accessibility. It is one of the key electronic research and culture infrastructures currently under construction in Finland. The NDL includes:
- Common user interface Finna for the information resources of libraries, archives and museums (+ 100 organisations);
- Development of a digital preservation solution for digital cultural heritage; and
- Promotion of interoperability of information, processes and IT systems in Finnish memory organizations
The public interface Finna was published in October 2013. The Finna search service is the first to bring together the collections of Finnish archives, libraries and museums. Finna provides direct access to some digital content and information about available material. For more information on digital cultural heritage, see chapter 3.1.
The National Digital Library project is a part of the development of national electronic services and infrastructures. The joint use of information has been addressed in policy outlines on public sector information management and the development of the information society in Finland in the following policy documents:
- 2007: The National Information Society Strategy 2007–2015 + Government Resolution on its objectives
- 2011: The Government’s report to the Parliament “A productive and innovative Finland – A digital agenda for 2011–2020”
- 2011: the Government Resolution on better accessibility to and improved reuse of the digital materials of the public sector – the National Digital Library one of the few flagships in Finland.
- 2013: Finnish Open Data Programme 2013–2015