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Eino Jutikkala

Eino Kaarlo Ilmari Jutikkala (until 1931 Rinne)
Born October 24, 1907, Sääksmäki. Died  December 22, 2006, Helsinki.

Master of Arts, 1928, Licentiate and Doctor of Philosophy (History) 1932, University of Helsinki

Professor of Finnish History, 1954–1974, University of Helsinki
Vice-Dean, 1960–66 and Dean 1966–1969, Division of History and Philology, University of Helsinki
Chairman, Local History Office, 1949–1954
Station Head, State Communication Office, 1941–1944

Chairman, Historical Association, 1934–1946
Chairman, International Committee for historiography, Finnish branch

Board Member, Swedish-Finnish Cultural Fund, 1960–1971
Associate Member, 1938, Member 1946, President, 1968–1970 and Honorary Member, 1996, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters

Academician, 1972
Honorary Member, Finnish Cultural Fund, 1973
Honorary Doctor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Helsinki, 1956
Honorary Doctor, Helsinki School of Economics, 1966
Honorary Doctor, University of Stockholm, 1966

Honorary Doctor, University of Tampere, 1985
Riemukunniatohtori (Honorary title awarded 50 years after gaining a doctoral degree), University of Helsinki, 2006

Photo: Antti Taskiainen 1955. SKS, Kirjallisuusarkisto
Written by Tero Juutilainen
Translated by John Calton

‘Hurry Harry’

Eino Jutikkala’s work as a historical research was conducted at a rapid pace, but always careful and conscientious. He was usually the first one in the team to be ready and often well before the deadline. He is said to have published more by the age of thirty than many had in their whole lives. He also kept up the pace with other things besides his own research.

One of the first larger projects was his involvement as editorial secretary on the series of volumes on Finland’s cultural history, Suomen kulttuurihistoria. The project was led initially by Gunnar Suolahti, but when he died suddenly the responsibility fell to another titan of cultural history Väinö Voionmaa. However, the pace was really set by Jutikkala, who was said to have stood waiting beside the writer for ‘copy’. Students too experienced Jutikkala’s impatience and gave him the nickname Hoppu-Heikki (‘Hurry Harry’) or just Hoppu (harry). The students appreciated Jutikkala all the same, and his lectures were popular with students as well as in the world beyond the University.

Päiviö Tommila characterised Jutikkala thus: “As a lecturer Jutikkala was marvellous, as an examiner demanding, as seminar leader thorough, as a supervisor scholarly precise, as a boss trustworthy. He organised memorable historical soirées for his friends. And we should not forget his beloved mah-jong.”

The brisk pace at which the work was done made it possible for Jutikkala to be involved in all kinds of projects. He was influential in the setting up of independent Paikallishistoriallisen Toimisto (Eng. ‘local history office’), whose purpose was to ensure the quality of local historical research. Jutikkala was both a board member and chairman of the organisation. Jutikkala was a familiar figure in other learned societies both as member and chairman.

Jutikkala was active in editing the Finnish historical almanac over many years, serving as editor-in-chief. He was also instrumental in starting and contributing to the Finnish National Biography project, although especially in the beginning of his career he took a dim view of the cavalcade of the ‘great and good’.

The quality of Eino Jutikkala’s work was recognised in many ways. He was awarded no fewer than four honorary doctorates from different universities, in addition to which he was one of the first to be granted the title academician in 1972. His first honorary doctorate came from the faculty of political science at the University of Helsinki in 1956, which meant that he was still in post to have the rare title of riemukunniatohtori bestowed upon him, a full fifty years later.

Fred Karlsson and Eino Jutikkala at the Faculty of Arts Alumni and business cooperation event in 2002. Photo: Eero Roine, University of Helsinki.​
Fred Karlsson and Eino Jutikkala at the Faculty of Arts Alumni and business cooperation event in 2002. Photo: Eero Roine, University of Helsinki.​

Citation from Tommila, Vuosisadan akateemikko ja akateemikon vuosisata

 Sources (in Finnish):

  • Pertti Haapala, ”Eino Jutikkala (1907-2006). Talonpojan historian kirjoittaja” (‘Eino Jutikkala (1907–2006). Author of the history of the peasantry’). In Suomalaisia tieteen huipulla (‘The Best of Finnish Science’), eds. Tapio Markkanen, Allan Tiitta and Paula Havaste. Gaudeamus: Tallinn 2014.
  • Päiviö Tommila, ‘Jutikkala, Eino’. National Biography of Finland online. Accessed May 5, 2015.
  • Päiviö Tommila, ”Vuosisadan akateemikko ja akateemikon vuosisata” ‘The scholar of the century and the century of the scholar’. Finnish Academy of Science and Letters online. Accessed May 5, 2015.
  • Wikipedia, ‘Eino Jutikkala’. Accessed May 4, 2015.


Translated by John Calton

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