The project studies the making of national culture and literature in Finland during the long 19th century. The focus is on the interplay of the literary elite and oral folk culture, and on the documentation and publication of oral poetry. These textual practices were influenced by transnational intellectual trends and the analysis reveals the transnational and dialogic core of national heritage. Instead of the canonized sources of heritage and identity, we study texts that were marginalized in literature and societal uses of tradition. The project unveils the hidden genealogies of cultural heritage: the texts that fitted poorly in the ideological aims and aesthetic values of the elite. The results are relevant for discussions on, for example, heritage politics and nationalism. Acknowledgement of the multicultural and varying voices that were ignored while constructing Finnishness balances notions of cultural history and the allegedly monolithic nature of national cultures.