Data entering

The distance work project 1998-2013

The Karjala Database foundation and ELY Centre in South Savo were upholding a project that employs people that have been unemployed long-term. The intention was to offer flexible working opportunities to people for whom normal work was not suitable. The project employees entered the church records from the ceded Karelia in the database.

One of the goals of the distance work project was to break a long period of unemployment by offering meaningful work of social significance. In this way the individual´s sense of alienation was diminished, while his/her vitality was increased and he/she could learn and maintain IT skills that are needed in today´s society.

A person who was employed in the project was working either from his/her home or at special workstations that were assigned to distance work. Besides Mikkeli, the project had persons in Hirvensalmi, Joroinen, Juva, Kangasniemi, Mäntyharju, Pertunmaa, Kristina and Pieksämäki. The Karjala Database Foundation lended the necessary equipment and supervised the work, but otherwise the employees worked independently with a working time of 5h/day and 25 hrs /week. The employee could plan the daily working hours so as to fit his or her own rhythm.

The distance work project lasted about 15 years. During this time, over 500 people worked on the project. Over 90 % of the material in the Karjala database has entered by employees of the distance work project.

The distance work project gave many people a positive perception of this kind of work. The project also provided a model for this method for employing and achieved visible results at moderate costs. As a result of the project, the Karjala Database foundation obtained a representative database that scientists from different fields can use in a versatile manner.

Input work continues

The work with the database is still going on. A new project is established for input information in the parish registers into the database. During the work, much care is taken that information entered is true to the source.

The population records are the source material for the database. They  called parish registers, which consist of confirmation books, children´s books, records of births and baptisms, records of banns of marriage and married, records of dead and buried, and records of expatriates. 


Summary of input

A total of 10.484.059 personal records have been entered into the database. This number also includes information received via the Genealogy Society (326.235). The share of Karjala Database is 9.914.639.


The planning for Karjala Database began in 1985. During a pilot project that started in 1988, the possibilities for implementing the database were investigated from a point of view of both the source material suitability and from a technical point of view. At this time, the input system was also designed. The Karjala Database foundation was established in 1990, when the pilot project ended.

The distance work project, which is administered by the foundation, was established in 1998 to increase the input rate and to employ the long-term unemployed.

Jari Ropponen was the leader of the project.