Vili Haukkovaara

Head of development

Vili Haukkovaara is head of development at the National Archives of Finland. He works with his team to ensure that in the future increasingly many of the documents in the National Archives will be available regardless of time and place.

The task of the National Archives of Finland is not only to preserve documents, but also to promote their use. Haukkovaara and his team work to meet this goal through many projects, amongst other means. In one project, for example, the automatic identification of handwritten text is being developed. Old documents written in hard-to-read handwriting will be able to be explored more easily in the future once they have been converted into computer-readable form. Haukkovaara’s team is also involved in developing a new database and online service on documents related to Finnish Middle Ages.

A large part of Haukkovaara's work involves the holistic and goal-oriented organisational development of the National Archives of Finland. For example, the automatic identification of handwritten text is a continuation of the use of recognized text by various means. “The overall system is being developed piece by piece in a direction that has been jointly agreed upon,” says Haukkovaara.

“One thing that makes my work interesting is trying to be able to all the various elements in control, since there are many projects and initiatives underway at the same time.” Much of his typical working day involves supervision, meetings, and responding to various messages. Haukkovaara’s tasks also include project management work, and he supports the National Archives project managers in various ways, for example with project manuals, plan templates, and other tools. “My job is very development-oriented.”

Haukkovaara has an M.Sc. in engineering. He joined the Finnish National Archives in 2010 as an information system designer, when his studies were nearing completion.  Coordinating work and study was easy, in Haukkovaara's opinion, since the National Archives encourages and supports their employees in education and training. At the time he joined the National Archives, Haukkovaara had only a few courses left to complete. After two years of work at the National Archives, he got a permanent position there.

According to Haukkovaara, the State is an exceptionally stable employer, which is one of the bonuses of working at the National Archives of Finland. The central location of the National Archives, on Rauhankatu in Helsinki, is another big plus, he says.

Haukkovaara finds it hard to choose one single thing that is best about his work. “I like how the tasks I get are increasingly challenging. It also gets me to take account of different perspectives, since the people I work with come from a wide range of backgrounds. My colleagues make things easier to cope with, and help ensure that work remains fun even in the more difficult times.”