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Päiviö Tommila

Juhani Päiviö Tommila
Born August 4, 1931, Jyväskylä

Bachelor of Arts (Finnish History) 1954, Master of Arts (valedictorian) 1957, Licentiate 1960, PhD (valedictorian) 1964, University of Helsinki

Rector of the University of Helsinki 1988–92
Dean of the Department of History and Language Sciences 1987–88, University of Helsinki
Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1967–71, 1973–75, University of Turku
Professor of Finnish history1965–76, University of Turku
Docent in Finnish history 1962–67, University of Helsinki
Research assistant in History 1959–65, University of Helsinki
Employee of the Nurmijärvi District History Committee 1955–57

Federation of Finnish Learned Societies 1989–2000
Executive Board of the Finnish Institute in Estonia 1993–2002
Project leader of Suomen lehdistön historia (‘the history of the Finnish press’) 1975–92
Board of Trustees of the Finnish Cultural Foundation 1978–85, Chairman 1985–87, Supervisory Board 1987–96, General Secretary 1994–96
Editor-in-chief 1983–90, Historiallisen Aikakauskirja

Awards and honours:
Honorary title of Academician 2004
First Class Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland
Honorary PhD 1998, University of Jyväskylä
Member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

Photo: Faculty of Arts
Written by Olli Siitonen
Translated by Matthew Billington

The History of the Finnish Press and Other Publications

The ten part Suomen lehdistön historia (‘The History of the Finnish Press’) is the most extensive of Päiviö Tommila’s publications. The project, which lasted over a decade, included every university in Finland and employed several researchers and students. Besides the comprehensive work on the Finnish press, the project resulted in much additional research.

“A successful project has to leave a mark, in other words various publications. A large number of researchers participated in the project dealing with the history of the press, and in addition to the ten part historical work, they produced several dissertations, monographs and other publications.”

In an economic and administrative sense, a research project is comparable to running a business; employees need salaries to get by and you have to keep track of expenses. As project leader, Tommila was partly responsible for securing funding, and along with his research work he fulfilled a wide range of administrative duties.

Participating in a large research project offered valuable experience to students and young researchers.

“The project also served an educational purpose and it employed several students working on their theses. The work involved was also comparable to the work done in a research seminar.”

Suomen lehdistön historia was published in ten parts between 1985 and 1992.

Selected works of Päiviö Tommila:

Helsinki kylpyläkaupunkina 1830 - 1850-luvuilla. 1955
Nurmijärven pitäjän historia I–II. 1958–1959
La Finlande dans la politique européenne en 1809–1815. 1962 (dissertation)
Suomen lehdistön levikki ennen vuotta 1860. 1963
Arvid-David Hummel. 1963
Suomen historian dokumentteja I–II. 1968–1970 (with M. Juva and V. Niitemaa)
Jyväskylän kaupungin historia I–II. 1970–1972
Keski-Suomen lehdistö I–IV. 1970 - 1979 (with T. Raitio)
Oulun Wiikko-Sanomia 1829–1879. 1984
Suomen autonomian synty 1808–1819. 1984
Suomen historiankirjoitus. 1989
Tunne yliopistosi. 1992
Soome ajakirjanduse algus. 1992
Edwin Linkomies: suomalainen vaikuttaja. 1996 (edited with H. Heikkilä)
Päätoimittaja: Suomen kulttuurihistoria I–III. 1979–1982
Muuttuva kylä. 1980
Suomen kaupunkilaitoksen historia I–III. 1981–1984
Suomen lehdistön historia 1–10. 1985–1992
Herää Suomi. 1989
Miten meistä tuli historian tohtoreita. 1998
Suomen tieteen historia 1–4. 2000–2002.

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