Volter Kilpi
Humanist of the day

Volter Kilpi

Volter Kilpi had a long career both as a librarian and as a writer. As the University of Turku's first head librarian he had a decisive impact on its organisation, cataloguing system and the early stages of its collection, such as the Finnish explorer Nordenskjöld's huge map library. But Kilpi is usually remembered first and foremost for his writing, especially for one of the best works of literature from Finland’s period of independence, namely the stream-of-consciousness novel Alastalon Sali, ‘In the parlour at Alastalo’.

Volter Kilpi

Volter Adalbert Kilpi (until 1885 Ericsson)
Born December 12, 1874 Kustavi, Turku archipelago. Died June 13, 1939, Turku.

Master of Arts (Art History), 1900, Imperial Alexander University

Head Librarian, 1921-39, University of Turku Library
Librarian, 1920/1, University of Turku
Librarian, 1919/20, Turku City Library
Assistant Librarian, 1912-18, Helsinki City Library
Librarian, 1906-11, Undergraduate Library
Amanuensis extraordinarius, 1898-1918, Imperial Alexander University Library

Volter Kilpi Literary Festival (since 1999)
Volter Kilpi Seura (society) established, 1988
Memorial plaque, Turku, 1974
Finnish State Prize for Literature, 1901, 1934, 1938

Photo: Volter Kilven seura
Written by Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by John Calton