Data entering

The telecommuting project

The Karjala Database Foundation and ELY Centre in South Savo are upholding a telecommuting project that employs people that have been unemployed long-term. The intention is to offer flexible working opportunities to people for whom normal work is not suitable. The work consists of entering information into the database. The project employees enter the church records from the ceded Karelia in the database.

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

A person who is employed in the project is working either from his/her home or at special workstations that are assigned to distance work. Besides Mikkeli, the project employs persons in Hirvensalmi, Joroinen, Juva, Kangasniemi, Mäntyharju, Pertunmaa, Kristina and Pieksämäki. The Karjala Database Foundation lends the necessary equipment and manages and supervises the work, but otherwise the employees work independently with a working time of 5h/day and 25 hrs /week. The employee can plan the daily working hours so as to fit his or her own rhythm. The employer trusts that each worker performs a fair amount of work without supervision. This way, no one needs to commute dozens of miles to the workplace.

The distance work project has been running for 15 years. During this time, over 500 people have worked on the project. Over 90 % of the material in the Karjala database has been submitted by employees of the distance work project.

Distance work is a form of work with growing importance. The Karjala database distance work project has given many people a positive perception of this kind of work. The project also provides other industries with a model for this method for employing and achieving visible results at moderate costs. As a result of the project, the Karjala Database Foundation obtains a representative database that scientists from different fields can use in a versatile manner.

In 2004, the Karjala database information retrieval application Katiha was opened to researchers at the Provincial Archives in Mikkeli. Due to this, the research related interest in the Karjala database has increased noticeably and now a part of the information that has been entered via the distance work project is accessible via the Internet, thanks to Katina’s online version KATIHA.

Input by parish

Population records, i.e. 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 serve as source material for the database. Almost all of the information available in the parish registers is entered. During the work, care is taken that information entered is true to the source.

The entered information is transferred to the source database. Later, the information is carefully checked and family names can be normalised for the surname registers. During the years 1988-2012, 9 356 240 personal records were entered into the Karjala database.

List of entered records.

Annual input

A total of 9 566 291 personal records have been entered into the database. This number also includes information received via the Genealogy Society. The share of the Karjala database is 9 240 056 records.

The entry work of the Karjala Database Foundation during the years 1990-2013.


The planning for the 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 telecommuting 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 is the leader of the telecommuting project.