Mikko Laakso
Humanist of the day

Mikko Laakso

A set of volumes, 'Kansojen historia', an account of the history of the peoples of the world, on the top shelf in the family’s library was what made a humanist of Mikko Laakso. Entranced by the author Carl Grimberg’s style, the boy from Lohja in southern Finland worked alongside his history studies, and subsequently in museums and archives, before earning his living by writing history.

Mikko Laakso

Mikko Taneli Laakso
Born October 9, 1963, Lohja.

Master of Arts, 1990 and Licentiate of Philosophy (General History) 2000, University of Helsinki
Diplôme européen d’etudes medievales 1994 (Diploma awarded by FIDEM, the European Universities network for medieval research)
Archivist Diploma (National Archives Service of Finland), 1993

Researcher, Spiritus Historiae Ltd 1990- (fulltime from 2000)
Archivist, School of Art and Design, 1992-1995
Researcher, Department of Sociology (Demographics research unit), University of Helsinki, 1995-2000
Part-time researcher, Samfundet Folkhälsan, 2003-2011

Research interests: Finnish economic and social history, history of organisations and history of Finnish library services

Photo: Mika Federley
Written by Mikko Laakso and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

My most recent research report Kirjasto ekspansiivisessa suurkaupungissa: Suomen suurten yleisten kirjastojen johtamisen ongelma 1945−2010, on the library provision in an expanding metropolis, in particular the problems in the management of large public libraries in Finland in the years 1945-2010, deals with the history of the library as an…

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At some point, I would still like to do research on European history in the early Middle Ages, the pet topic of my student years. I wrote my MA and licentiate thesis on it, but then other things came along. Maybe in those golden years of retirement..

In the autumn of 2012 I was asked to be chairman of Espoon Kirjailijat – Esbo Författare ry (‘the Espoo writers’ association’), which brings together the fiction and non-fiction writers in the city. As I had no previous experience in organisation activity, I immediately agreed.

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