Fredrik Wilhelm Pipping
Humanist of the day

Fredrik Wilhelm Pipping

For many, Fredrik Pipping remains an obscure historical figure. However, the scale of his contribution to the University library, and through it the establishment and conservation of the collections in the National Library of Finland, is beyond doubt. Following the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, he built up the collections once more, acquiring new books as well as knowledge about the early stages of Finnish literature. His efforts have tangible form in the National Library’s Fennica collection.

Fredrik Wilhelm Pipping

Born December 14, 1783, Turku. Died January 23, 1868, Helsinki.

Master of Philosophy, Royal Academy of Turku, 1804; Undergraduate, University of Uppsala, 1806-1807.

Amanuensis, Royal Academy of Turku Library, 1811-
University Librarian, 1814-1845
Professor, History of Science, 1814-1837

Dean, School of Philosophy, 1816-1817, 1824-1825, 1832-1833
University Rector, 1823-1824, 1833-1839

Member, Senate Economic Affairs Committee, 1841-1855
Chairman, Ecclesiastical Affairs Committee, 1841-1853

Photo: Finnish National Board of Antiquities
Written by Tero Juutilainen
Translated by John Calton

Fredrik Pipping’s father, Jost Pipping, valued education and had himself studied at the Royal Academy of Turku. His father invested in Fredrik’s education and arranged tutors for him from an early age. At the tender age of sixteen he was admitted to study at his father’s alma mater…

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Fredrik Pipping’s most notable achievements were in the field of librarianship. His predecessor had worked intensively to develop the library, practically regarding it as his own. Pipping was like-minded.

But arguably the biggest challenge to Pipping’s career so far came on September 4th, 1827, when a fire broke out…

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