Search Tips

Basic search

If your search terms are separated only by spaces, the search results will be the same as when using the AND operator; i.e. the search results will contain all the search words you have entered.

For example, mannerheim carl produces the same search results as mannerheim AND carl.

You can pre-define your search by selecting a specific type of institution (museum, archive, library) or format (book, article, etc.) from the drop-down menu.

Narrowing your search

You can use the Narrow search menu to narrow your search according to format (e.g. image), organization (e.g. National Archives) or language.

You can narrow your search results by selecting several criteria at the same time.

By default, the menu displays the most relevant search results at the top.

Filter by year or use the timeline tool

You can specify the year(s) of production by entering a range of years or using the visual timeline tool.

By clicking on the arrow, you can display the locations or formats (e.g. compilation, archive series, DVD) of a lower hierarchical level.

You can delete criteria under the Narrow search menu.

Retain filters

This feature retains your filters for new searches. You can enable this function if you wish to carry out a new search with the same criteria.

Advanced search

Search fields

The Advanced search page has several search fields in which you can enter search terms and phrases, and use various search operators.

Adjacent to each search field is a drop-down menu which allows you to select the field of the relevant record (all fields, title, author, etc.). If necessary, you can target your search to several fields by using several search terms.

Match drop-down

The Match dropdown menu defines how to handle a query with several search fields:

  • With all these (AND) – Searches for records that match the content of all search fields.
  • With any of these (OR) – Searches for records that match the content of one or more search fields.
  • With none of these (NOT) – Searches for records which do not feature the content of any of the search fields.

Add search field allows you to add a new search field to the form.

Add search group allows you to add search fields for a new group.

Remove search group allows you to delete groups.

To define the relationships between search groups, use the ALL groups (AND) and ANY groups (OR) search operators.

The below example concerning the history of India or China can be implemented with search groups as follows:

  • Add the terms “India” and “China” to the search fields of the first search group, and define the relationship between the search fields by selecting With any of these (OR) from the Match drop-down menu.
  • Create a new search group and add the term “history” to its search field. Define the relationship between search groups as ALL groups (AND).

Using your account

Registered users can save searches, comment on Finna content and reserve material, if the library is on Finna.

Logging in

You can log into Finna by clicking on Login at the top of the page and choosing one of the following three options:

  • All users can create a Finna ID. You can also add your library card to your account if the library is on Finna.
  • Students and staff of Finnish institutions of higher education can use the Haka institutional login. You can add your library card to the service if the library is on Finna. You can do so after logging in.
  • If your library is on Finna, you can log into the service directly with your library card.

    See the list of libraries participating on Finna


You can add records to your favourites using the heart-shaped button on the search results page or the record page. You can sort selected records into lists of favourites, export records to Refworks, email records, or print them in MARC format.

Saved searches, search history, and new entry alerts

You can save your latest searches either on the search results page or by selecting Save in the latest searches under your saved searches.

Saved searches appear at the top. You can use the new entry alerts to receive emails about new records either weekly or daily.


You can view information about your loans and renew loans.

Reservations and requests

You can view information about your reservations and requests and cancel reservations.


You can view the fees (e.g. for overdue items) on your library card.

Library cards and adding your library card

You can add your library card(s) to Finna by selecting Add if your library has joined Finna.

My information

You can change your email address, set a due date reminder or select the library to which your reservations and inter-library loans should be sent.

Contact your library to change personal contact information.

Changing your PIN code or password

You can change your password or PIN code under My information.


You can send feedback on Finna (e.g., concerning the user interface and technical issues) using the general Feedback form. Your feedback will be sent to the National Library of Finland, where it will be forwarded to the responsible individual.

If you have feedback on the content of Finna or on metadata relating to material on the service, click on Send feedback on the webpage of the relevant record. This feedback will be sent to the organization that submitted the material to Finna.

Logical search operators

You can combine terms into complex queries with Boolean operators. The following operators can be used: AND, +, OR, NOT, and -.

NB! Boolean operators must be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS.


AND, the conjunction operator, is the system’s default operator for multi-term queries that do not include an operator. When using the AND operator, the records included in the search results feature each of the terms in the search fields.

For example, to search for records that include “economics” and “Keynes”:

economics Keynes


economics AND Keynes


The + sign can be used to indicate that the term must appear in each search result.

For example, to search for records that must include “economics” and may include “Keynes”:

+economics Keynes


The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching record if either of the terms exist in a record.

To search for documents that contain either "economics Keynes" or just "Keynes" use the query:

"economics Keynes" OR Keynes


The "!-" operator excludes records that contain the following term.

To search for documents that contain "economics" but not "Keynes" use the query:

economics !-Keynes

Note: The operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:


Note: If the term begins with the operator, it can be included by using the backslash (\). For example: to search for !-merkki hakuehtona (in Finnish) use the query:

\!-merkki hakuehtona

Note: The NOT operator can be used similarly with this operator. However, the NOT operator returns more results, some of which may contain the term following NOT.

Phrase searches

You can search for an exact phrase by putting your search terms in quotation marks.

For example, to search only for records which include the phrase “mediaeval history”, not “mediaeval cultural history” or similar phrases:

"mediaeval history"

You can also use phrase search for single words. Your search will then produce an exact match to your search term without any other conjugations.

Wildcard characters

? replaces one character in your search term.

For example, the terms “text” and “test” can be searched for using the same query:


*replaces no, one or more characters in a search term.

For example, the terms “test”, “tests” and “tester” can be searched for using the query:


You can also use the asterisk in the middle of a search term:


NB! The wildcards ? and * cannot replace the first character in a search term.

Fuzzy searches

A fuzzy search generates results in which words similar to the actual search word also appear.

~ carries out a fuzzy search when used as the last character in a single-term search.

For example, a fuzzy search for the term “roam”:


This search finds such terms as “foam” and “roams”. The similarity of the search to the original term can be regulated with a parameter between zero and one.

The closer the value is to one, the more similar the term will be to the original term. roam~0.8


The default value of the parameter is 0.5 if it is not separately defined for a fuzzy search.

Proximity searches

Proximity searches look for documents in which the search terms are within a specified distance, but not necessarily one after the other.

~ performs a proximity search at the end of a multi-term search when combined with a proximity value.

For example, to search for the terms “economics” and “Keynes” when they appear within a distance of no more than ten terms from each other:

"economics Keynes"~10

Range searches

Range searches can be conducted using either curvy brackets { } or square brackets [ ]. When using curvy brackets, the search takes into account only the values between the terms entered, excluding the terms themselves. Square brackets, in contrast, also include the terms entered in the range searched for.

For example, to search for a term that begins with the letter B or C using the query:

{A TO D}

For example, to search for the values 2002–2003:

[2002 TO 2003]

NB! The word TO between the values must be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Weighted search terms

^ assigns a weight to the search term in a query.

For example, to assign added weight to the search term “Keynes”:

economics Keynes^5