The focal points of the National Museum’s historical collections have traditionally been on the culture of the gentry and church artefacts. The collections include a large number of furniture, costumes and textiles, items made from glass, porcelain and silver, jewellery, portraits, weapons and church-related material. These artefacts describe not only the development of material history over a long period of time, but also the changes that have taken place in Finnish society, industry, households and well-being.
Furthermore, objects and art related to the history of Finland as a state, its politics and the level of education amongst its people form the core of the historical collections. The collections also include catalogued excavated items from recorded history all the way up to 2011. The collections continue to grow through donations and purchases.
The researchers in charge of the objects are experts in cultural heritage. They produce scientific information on this field, offer guidance in questions concerning the collections and material cultural history, and provide answers to questions regarding the export of cultural artefacts. They are also involved in managing the collections in the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum.