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Tekla Hultin

Tekla Johanna Virginia Hultin
Born 18 April, 1864, Jaakkima, formerly eastern Finland. Died 31 March, 1943, Helsinki

Bachelor of Arts, 1891 (history, literature, art history and psychology), Doctor of Philosophy 1896 (economic history), Imperial Alexander University

Worked as journalist, researcher, and parliamentarian; active member of numerous organisations.

Photo: Päivälehden arkisto
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by John Calton

The First Female Doctor of Philosophy in the Humanities

Tekla Hultin began her academic studies in 1886. Her studies included history, literature, art history and psychology. After graduating as a Bachelor of Arts in 1891, she took up work as a journalist.

Hultin was determined in taking her studies further, and went on to become the first female academic doctor in the humanities in Finland. She defended her doctoral thesis at the Imperial Alexander University in 1896. In her dissertation on economic history (Historiska upplysningar om bergshandtering i Finland under svenska tiden I: Jernbruken), she studied the mining business in Finland during its period under Swedish rule.

Photo: Museovirasto, valokuvaaja Charles Riis.​​

Hultin worked as an actuary at the Statistical Office of Finland. She was also actively involved in politics, for example as a founding member of both the Young Finnish Party and the Women's Kagal, a sister organisation to the body that resisted the Russian oppression of the time. She acted as a Member of Parliament from 1908 to 1923.

Tekla Hultin died in Helsinki. She was 78. She never married, but preferred to dedicate her life to the things she loved and valued, such as promoting the activities of various organisations, political and otherwise. Historical accounts also point to a lively social life.


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