Settlement of Karelian evacuees during and after World War II in their new environment
Mirkka Danielsbacka, Lauri Aho, Robert Lynch, Jenni Pettay, Virpi Lummaa and John Loehr
We investigate sociodemographic and environmental factors associated with resettlement of Karelian evacuees during and after World War II using new digitized MiKARELIA database. During the war over 400,000 people were forcibly displaced from Karelia, Finland and evacuated to western Finland. Soon after the start of the Continuation War (1941–1944) Finland recaptured Karelia and these refugees had the opportunity to return to Karelia and approximately 70% did so. We analyse the movements of 59,477 Karelian evacuees and their decisions to return to Karelia or stay in western Finland during the Continuation War and the factors associated with their return.
National Audiovisual Heritage in the Yle Archive – Recognizing People, Events and Places by Named-Entity Recognition
The Finnish public service broadcaster Yle holds a large audiovisual online archive Elävä arkisto (The Living Archive). It presents the audiovisual history of Finland. In this paper, I will ask who are the people, what are the places and events remembered in the online archive – how the national past is constructed in Yle’s Elävä Arkisto. The data set used in the research consists of Yle’s metadata on Elävä Arkisto. I will analyse this metadata as source material and the limits and opportunities of the Finnish named-entity recogniser FiNER – and named-entity recognition in general – as a methodological tool.
BiographySampo – tools for biographical and prosopographical research
The new semantic portal Biografiasampo /BiographySampo, a joint effort by the Semantic Computing Research Group at the Aalto University and the Biographical Centre of the Finnish Literature Society, combines several biographical datasets and enables historians and other Humanities scholars to do Digital Humanities without knowledge or experience of computer science. The tools include visualizations, network analysis, and linguistic analysis. How should BiographySampo be developped to better serve historians in biographical and prosopographical research?
The Digital Database of Local Letters to Newspapers
The Digital Database of Local Letters to Newspapers is a digital history project of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences HEX (2018–2025), hosted by University of Tampere. The intention of the project is to make a new kind of digital research material available from the 19th century Finnish society. The objective is to introduce a database of the readers’ letters submitted to the Finnish press, which are written in the name of local communities. The database will enable a wide range of research topics and open a path to various research approaches, especially the study of human experiences. At the current time, the database contains about 19 000 readers’ letters from the time era of 1850–1870. In my presentation, I will describe the features of the database.
Bibliographic Data Science and the History of the Book
Leo Lahti (presenter), Jani Marjanen, Hege Roivainen & Mikko Tolonen and the Helsinki Computational History Group
This paper demonstrates our quantitative approach to book history, where bibliographic collections are considered as research material, rather than a mere information retrieval tool. We call this approach bibliographic data science. We have harmonized selected metadata fields of the Finnish and Swedish National Bibliographies, the English Short-Title Catalogue, and the Heritage of the Printed Book database. Altogether, these four bibliographies cover 2.64 million harmonized entries from the investigated period (1500-1800). We demonstrate the use of bibliographical data science by two case studies studying books as physical objects and estimating the development of vernacularization in early-modern Europe.
Finding Nineteenth-century Berry Spots: Recognizing and linking place names in a historical newspaper berry-picking corpus
Matti La Mela, Minna Tamper, Kimmo Kettunen
The paper studies and improves methods of named entity recognition (NER) and linking (NEL) for facilitating historical research, which uses digitized newspaper texts. The specific focus is on a study about historical process of commodification. The paper compares two named entity recognition tools and explores linking and disambiguation of the recognized places. Information about the newspaper publication place is used to improve the identification of small places. The paper concludes that the pipeline performs well for mapping the commodification, however other information, for instance about the reuse of the newspaper articles, could be used to further improve the recognition and linking quality.
Materiality of Nineteenth-Century Finnish Newspapers
Eetu Mäkelä (presenter), Jani Marjanen, Antti Kanner, Mikko Tolonen and the Helsinki Computational History Group
To chart the material development of newspapers in Finland, we’ve extracted word, page and column counts, page sizes and publication frequencies from the newspaper dataset provided by the National Library of Finland. The data shows a general order in how newspapers expanded: 1) layout was changed to include more words per page, 2) page size was increased, 3) publication frequency was increased, and only after that 4) the amount of pages was increased. Simultaneously, the data shows high variability, where papers not only frequently printed supplements, but could switch back and forth between formats inside a single week.
Digital access to the Sámi heritage archives
‘Digital access to the Sámi heritage archives’ is an InterregNord funded project (1.10.2018-31.12.2020) which aims to improve the accessibility of the Sámi cultural heritage by mapping the Sámi archive collections in Europe, developing the ICT based information search service solution and creating common ethical instructions for the usage of Sámi cultural heritage. The partners of the project are Sámi Archives in Finland and in Norway, University of Oulu (Center for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis), University of Umeå (Interaction design, Dept. of Informatics), and University of Lapland (coordinator, Faculty of Art and Design & Faculty of Law).
Introducing ‘Elias Lönnrot Letters Online’
Elias Lönnrot Letters Online (http://lonnrot.finlit.fi/omeka/) currently contains about 2700 letters sent by Lönnrot, some 2400 of these private letters, the rest official letters such as medical reports. The letters are mainly in Finnish and Swedish, with some German, Russian and Latin. Each letter is published with facsimile images and an XML/TEI5 file with metadata and transcription. The open search covers both metadata and transcriptions and allows simple, combined and fuzzy searches. All the data contained in the edition – images, XML files, transcriptions in plain text and statistical data of the search results – is freely available for download and modification.
When the computer was new to Finnish historians: early international contacts and collaboration in computer-assisted history
This presentation studies the Finnish historians’ contacts to and collaboration with their colleagues in the neighboring countries from the late 1960s until the early 1980s focusing especially to their exchanges concerning use of computers for historical research. Computers were used by some historians in both the Soviet Union, here particularly Soviet Estonia, as well as in Sweden and other Nordic countries. With the former, historians in Finland organized regular symposiums starting in 1971 and with the latter some joint Nordic research projects were completed during the 1970s. Both of these cooperation forms resulted in a stream of publications. Further exchanges took place in seminars and Nordic conferences. The approach in the paper is transnational, and it is argued that this helps us understand better the long roots in Nordic cooperation in the early digital humanities.
Texts on the Move
Viola Parente-Čapková, Kati Launis, Jasmine Westerlund
In our paper, we would like to present our project “Texts on the Move: Reception of Women’s Writing in Finland and Russia 1840–2020” University of Turku & University of Tampere), funded by Emil Aaltonen Foundation. The project connects to digital research methods as well as to research on digital media. In the project, literary reception is understood broadly, comprising various ways texts have been moving transnationally. Literary and cultural exchange between Finland and Russia is viewed in a larger context of European literary culture. The reception data is being stored in the NEWW-VRE (http://test.resources.huygens.knaw.nl/womenwriters), which enables visualisation of connections and networks.
The Long-Term Reuse of Text in the Finnish Press, 1771–1920
Heli Rantala, Hannu Salmi, Aleksi Vesanto and Filip Ginter
This presentation is based on the study of text reuse in the Finnish press, 1771–1920. In the COMHIS project, we found 61 million occurrences of similarity, which formed 13 million clusters of reuse. This material included also strikingly slow processes of repetition, and the longest reuse cases were almost as long as the time span of the project. In sum, 76,259 clusters spun over 20 years or more. The longest span was 146 years. The presentation explores the volume and nature of this long-term text reuse in the Finnish press and analyzes three distinctive features of slow repetition, newspapers as a site of memory, newspapers as an archive and the political ramification of reuse.
A Comparative Study of the Language of “National” in Dutch, British, Swedish and Finnish Newspapers
Ruben Ros (presenter), Simon Hengchen, Jani Marjanen, Mikko Tolonen and the Helsinki Computational History Group
Using full texts from newspapers, we study how the process of nation building in Europe, and particularly in the Netherlands, in Finland (in Swedish and Finnish), Sweden, and in the UK, is reflected in language. To achieve our goal, we are using bigrams as a proxy (especially the bigrams starting with the adjective “national”), and look at how they behave through time in terms of productivity and creativity. Using this information, as well as data-driven and manual clustering, we look more closely at the evolution of different themes relating to the nation in the public discourse. The results are then compared across countries.
Oceanic Exchanges: Tracing Global Information Networks in Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840–1914 (OcEx)
Hannu Salmi, Otto Latva, Asko Nivala, Mila Oiva
Newspapers were the first big data for a mass audience. Their dramatic expansion over the nineteenth century created a global culture of abundant, rapidly circulating information. Oceanic Exchanges: Tracing Global Information Networks in Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840–1914 (OcEx) brings together efforts in computational periodicals research from the US, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the UK to examine patterns of information flow across national and linguistic boundaries in nineteenth-century newspapers. By revealing the global networks through which texts and concepts traveled, OcEx creates an abundance of new evidence about how readers around the world perceived each other through the newspaper. Link to the project website: https://oceanicexchanges.org/
The change of instrument talk in Philosophical Transactions, 1753-1777
Through topic modelling with MALLET, this paper presents a work-in-process examination of the Royal Society´s public communications in the 1753-1777. I examine, what kind of image was given about the scientific instruments in the Philosophical Transactions, in a time when the equipment and innovations resulted in measuring and describing the Pacific nature and peoples into the imagination of the Europeans. Topic modeling is a method that allows us to follow the temporal change in the themes and discussions in a large corpora, in this case consisting of 1421 articles.
The Birth of the Proletarian God of History: Close and Distant Readings of the Finnish Handwritten Newspapers, 1899-1917
Finland had the largest socialist party of Europe in 1907. The breakthrough of Finnish socialism has been analyzed from a variety of perspectives, but not from the perspective of ‘temporality’, that is, the way human beings experience time. This short paper scrutinizes the proletarian understanding of the past, by focusing on the words referring to history in five handwritten newspapers at the turn of the twentieth century. These papers were written by the ordinary working people and read out loud at their mass meetings. A simple computational method will be introduced and used, in order to answer a complex historical question: how did the workers conceptualize history in their writings?
Evolution of British Book Trade through Bibliographic Metadata
Ville Vaara (presenter), Mark Hill, Leo Lahti, Mikko Tolonen and Helsinki Computational History Group
English Short-Title Catalogue is a standard source for analytical bibliography. However, the earlier research use has been limited due to problems of data quality. The publisher information in ESTC has not been previously extracted at scale and it has great potential to change the way we do intellectual history. This is due to the fact that publisher networks had much more impact on the distribution of ideas in early modern period than has been earlier realised. The paper presents and overview of the data unification and an approach to analysing the evolution of the early modern booktrade through it’s actors.
The Ancient Finnish Kings: a computational study of pseudohistory, medievalism and history politics in contemporary Finland and Russia
Project PSEUDOHISTORIA launces in January 2019 and it is a three-year exploration of Finnish and Russian medievalist internet pseudohistory. In Finland, these include, among other, theories about mighty warrior kings and glorious past of a nation before the written history from the 12th century onwards. Sometimes such narratives are enforced through conspiracy theories stating that academic researchers or Swedish-speaking funding organisations knowingly hide the “true” history of the Finns. Correspondingly, Russian blogosphere has stories about an ancient Slavic empire, whose history is forgotten. Some, though by no means all, pseudohistories imply extreme-right political ideologies. In the past few years, pseudohistorical rhetoric in Finland has spread from the alternative blogosphere into major newspapers’ comment feeds. Currently pseudohistory is blurring the line between results of historical research and fiction.
The project combines expertise of a team of cultural historians to information technology. We apply a program called BLAST to track text-reuse in large scale. The goal is to find when and where certain narratives are born, and how they spread and acquire new contexts. We expect to find different textual communities with various mixtures of pseudohistory, medievalist fantasy and results of historical research. In addition to online texts, the team surveys the printed tradition of pseudohistory in order to track connections between internet writing and more traditional media.