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The History of the Regional Centre

The idea of founding an Emigrant Museum in Peräseinäjoki (nowadays part of the city of Seinäjoki) was born already at the end of the 1960s. The idea came from Anna-Leena Toivonen, a researcher born in Peräseinäjoki. Ville Ritola, a great Finnish athlete and emigrant born also in Peräseinäjoki, returned to Finand in his old days. He donated, among other things, all his Olympic medals to his native parish.

In 1989 the local government of Peräseinäjoki formed a team to find out what were the possibilities of founding and maintaining such museum. Amanuensis Eliisa Kopra made the plans, but they did not come true. However, the idea of cooperation with the Institute of Migration in Turku arose.

The idea had been suggested already in the 1970s, but it had not worked out. Then the idea re-emerged at the beginning of the 1990s. The plan came through finally in 1994, and the Regional Center started its activity on October 1994.

In the summer of 2007 the Institute of Migration and the city of Seinäjoki signed a contract about the status of the Regional Center: the city of Seinäjoki assumed the responsibility for the Emigrant Museum.

In summer 2011 the Regional Center moved to a new location: Keskuskatu 32, I-staircase, 3rd floor.

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