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Jessica Parland-von Essen

Eva Jessica Parland-von Essen
Born February 9, 1970, Espoo

MA 1998 (History), PhD 2005, University of Helsinki
Library and Information Sciences (LIS) studies 2002–5, Open University at the Åbo Academy
Docent of History 2012, University of Helsinki

Coordinator at the CSC-IT Center for Science 2014–
Archive director of the Brages Pressarkiv, 2011–4
Librarian and director of IT development for the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland 2007–10
Assistant in History 2006–7, University of Helsinki
Entrepreneur 1991–, Café Kafka, Barcafé Panorama, Kaffecentralen and Kannisto bakery

Research areas
18th Century cultural history, book history and digital humanities

Publications, Research projects and other scientific activities

Hedvig Lovisa Falcken Fund Prize for the book Affärer, allianser, anseende (‘Business, alliances, reputation’) 2011
Gustav III Fund Prize for the dissertation Behagets betydelser (‘Meanings of modesty’) 2007

Photo: Mika Federley
Written by Jessica Parland-von Essen (Tomas Sjöblom, ed.)
Translated by Joe McVeigh

Digital challenges and opportunities

Data flows through everything. Pictures, texts, sound, videos, games, films, Twitter, money, research – everything has changed into a single stream if bits which zips around the world through the air and through cables, and which is stored on servers around the world.

In addition to this, our society and culture have taken to this new virtual dimension and digitised our older historical documents. Researchers have a constant and increasing need to explore this new environment and learn how to handle these materials in their work. This creates new potential research areas for them, as well as new opportunities for integrating large amounts of date into their analyses, publications and newer forms of communication. At the same time new skills and cooperation between different types of people are required.

​Jessica Parland-von Essen speaking at the Digitala spår seminar in 2012. Picture: Thomas Silén. License: CC-BY-NC 2.0.​
​Jessica Parland-von Essen speaking at the Digitala spår seminar in 2012. Picture: Thomas Silén. License: CC-BY-NC 2.0.​

It is in the meeting of these old and new technologies and human sciences that Jessica Parland-von Essen thrives best. She is also inspired by a belief on transparency, civilization and cooperation.

‘The digital environment has fantastic potential for both us in the humanities as well as all other researchers. Currently I work in the Open Science and Research project at the CSC-IT Center for Science. We do a lot of work to create services which support researchers with information management. When our materials are electronic, they have to be published and maintained. This requires new services and new skills.

Parland-von Essen has benefited very much from her background in archives and libraries.

‘The digital humanities is a rapidly growing area with both renewed resources and methods. The field’s development is very fast and interesting. It is important to keep the humanities up to date with the evolution of the media and society. Humanists have a lot to give as experts in meaning and culture.’

Picture: Mika Federley.​
Picture: Mika Federley.​


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