In the 1960s, the Department of History of the University of Turku, Finland, conducted a project that gathered materials pertaining to Finnish overseas emigration. As part of the project, in 1964 and 1966, the Department collected letters sent by Finnish immigrants living in various destinations (mainly in the U.S. and Canada) to their family, friends, and relatives in Finland. The project yielded over 12,000 letters, which were collected in three provinces in the coastal areas of Finland (the area from which most Finnish immigrants to the U.S. originated): Varsinais-Suomi, Satakunta, and Etelä-Pohjanmaa. These "America Letters" (ca. 1880-1964) are now part of the IHRCA's Finnish American collection in microfilm format.
The topics discussed in letters include family news; health; economic conditions; living conditions; working conditions; weather; and moving in search of employment.