Is there any archival photoalbum about finnish life (before WWII) in the Russian part of Karelia?
Photos from Karelia befor the Second World War are not hard to find. There are many photos on the Internet, in the museums and in the archives, and there are numerous books on the subject in all public libraries.
The best places for you to go in Helsinki are:
The Karelian Association
The National Board of Antiquities
Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura(The Library of the Finnish Literature Society)
The National Archive
You may however want to specify the geographic area that you are interested in first. My guess is that you are thinking of Karjalankannas(or just Kannas), Laatokan Karjala, Raja-Karjala and Luovutettu Karjala, but there are other possibilities too. Study the map on the website http://www.kotus.fi/verkkojulkaisut/julk129/karjala_suomen.shtml. Specifying the area in question is important not only because the material is vast, but also because there are many cultural groups living far apart from each other. You may also need the exact names when you browse the websites.
Minun Karjalani(My Karjala)is a website produced by the National Board of Antiquities, The Library of the Finnish Literature Society and Pohjois-Karjalan Museo. The address is http://minunkarjalani.susiraja.net/index.htm.
The site has very fine links from the page http://minunkarjalani.susiraja.net/links.htm, but take a look at the pictures on
http://www.carelicum.fi/mk/karjala.nsf/vValokuvaAakkosjarjestys?OpenView. Choose "Aakkosjärjestys".
"Virtual Karjala" is a website with the address
http://www.virtuaalikarjala.org/. Click on JATKA and then again on the names of the villages to find the photos.
Tapani Pitkänen has made a website with pictures from several villages like Kivennapa, Terijoki a.s.o. The site has also several other interesting links. The address is: