Helka Guide: Helka Guide


Helka is the joint catalogue and lending system of all Helka libraries, that is: Helsinki University Library, Institute for the Languages of Finland, The Finnish Heritage Agency Library, Finnish Literature Society, Library of the Labour Movement and Baltia-Library.

Helka contains:
  • Library collections:
    • Printed and electronic resources (books, journals and databases) acquired by the Helsinki University Library and other Helka libraries.
  • International articles:
    • International e-articles and e-books (also references without access to full text, references to articles and e-books library has not acquired)
    • International articles search includes most of the databases library has bought but not all (e.g.PubMed, Scopus,​ ProQuest Databases and many other large international databases are included in the search)
  • Theses and dissertations at the University of Helsinki (digital theses are also in Helda, the digital repository of the university)  
  • Open Access resources 

Please note that the e-resources licenced by the Helsinki University Library can be accessed remotely with the University of Helsinki username only. Helka may also contain references without access to full text. 

Helka's short address is helsinki.fi/helka/en 

How to Start

Some tips when you start using Helka
  • Truncate your search terms to get all word variations (e.g. librar* -> library, libraries...) 
  • Target your search to relevant materials (Library catalog, International articles) and use filters to limit your search results (Tweak your results). 
  • Sign in to renew your loans, make reservations, pay fines and fees, change your pin code and see your Helka customer information See sign in instructions.
  • Check your reservations in your Helka customer information to see when the material is ready for collection. You will also be notified by email when the material is available. See instructions: Request material


Helka basic search

Helka and Other Databases

Helka and other databases

Helka is the starting point to find materials acquired by the library. You can find lots of international articles via Helka. You can easily check in Helka whether a certain article is available online or quickly find some articles on your topic. Search results may also include references to e-articles and e-books without access to full text (references to articles and e-books library has not bought). The International articles search includes most of the databases library has bought but not all. In many cases it is also useful to search in other databases available.

Search international articles in field specific and multidisciplinary databases especially when

  • you are making a systematic or comprehensive information seeking, e.g. for a literature review 
  • you want to make comprehensive information seeking in your field of subject
  • you are searching references for your thesis or other larger written work
  • you want to use the thesauruses or search tools of the databases  

You can find field specific and multidisciplinary databases   

  • by searching with database name in the Helka Database Search
  • by browzing databases by category in the Helka Database Search 
  • by browzing the field specific research guides by the library


If you want to find Finnish articles, use the Finna portal

If you want to search Finnish articles in medicine and nursing, use Medic database (available in University of Helsinki network).

When looking for materials in humanities, search in the National Library's collections as well. In the National Library Search Service narrow the search results to materials available for home loan by selecting the collection Humaniora.