Warfront papers were newspapers for soldiers on the front. The National Library of Finland has, in cooperation with the library of the National Defence University, digitised a total of 144 warfront papers from 1939–1945 and made them available.
Official warfront papers were published by the communications companies, and active soldiers on the front published unofficial troop papers. Some papers only had one published issue, and some were published nearly daily for years. Official papers may have been printed, but the papers created on the front were only available as issues of a few copies, or even as hand-written individual issues.
The warfront paper project combined the collection of papers in the National Defence University with the National Library’s collection. This way, we were able to create a comprehensive, digital collection that sheds light on life on the front. The National Library’s collection of warfront papers, which had been lacking in many parts, received a significant addition in 2020 through an agreement with the National Defence University on handing over the warfront papers in their library to the National Library. The warfront papers, previously stored in two separate libraries, are now available in the National Library’s Digital Collections (digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi(opens a new tab)), which will improve the availability of the material and put more eyes on the warfront papers.
The collection of warfront papers is available at https://digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi/collections?id=841 in Finnish (use Google Translate for a translation). Digitised papers up until the end of 1939 are freely available to the public. More recent papers are available to read at legal deposit workstations as well as for research at universities that have signed the Tutkain agreement.