The Opiksi exhibition provides an overview of the history of university teaching in various disciplines, from the period of Matthias Calonius (1738–1817) and Henrik Gabriel Porthan (1939–1804), professors at the Royal Academy of Turku, to Johan Vilhelm Snellman (1806–1881) and all the way to the late 20th century. Lecture notes tell us about the topics of teaching and the languages used, and reveal the handwriting of professors and students. By exploring various samples, we find out more about the teaching activities of important figures in the Finnish history of learning.
Notes taken by Gustaf John Ramstedt (1873–1950), a linguist and an explorer, when he attended lectures given by Heikki Paasonen (1865–1919), professor of Finno-Ugric linguistics, at the University of Helsinki in 1893. After completing his MA degree in 1898, G. J. Ramstedt undertook several expeditions to Siberia, Central Asia and Mongolia. He completed his doctoral degree in 1902 and was appointed professor of Altaic linguistics at the University of Helsinki in 1917. Later, Ramstedt worked, for example, as a diplomat in Tokyo, where he secured Japan’s support for Finland in what is known as the Åland Islands dispute.
The National Library of Finland’s Manuscript Collection includes G. J. Ramstedt’s personal archive as well as the Mongolian library he collected during his expeditions, which includes Mongolian and Kalmyk manuscripts and printed products.
Over the centuries, the Manuscript Collection of the National Library of Finland has accumulated a considerable amount of university lecture material, recorded by either the professors themselves or the students who attended the lectures. Lectures have been part of university teaching through the ages. Early on, the main guideline for academic teaching, also followed at the Royal Academy of Turku, was that teaching must be based on docendo et disputando, meaning lectures and the defence of theses. Both lectures and theses are still part and parcel of academic teaching.
The lecture notes on display tell us about lectures given in the 18th and 19thcenturies, of which our information is scarce, unlike the information we have of theses, most of which are still available in printed form in the National Library’s collections and will, in the near future, be made available in digital form in the digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi service.
In the early years of the National Library, in the era of the Royal Academy of Turku, it was customary to include not only books, but also manuscripts in the collection. The manuscripts of well-known 18th-century authors were a great source of pride for the National Library. Gradually, sources describing Finnish history as well as manuscripts authored by professors serving at the Academy of Turku (later the Imperial Alexander University and the University of Helsinki) also came to be seen as valuable. In the 19th century, the collection grew with not only individual manuscripts but also entire personal archives, including correspondence, notes and diaries. Thus, the National Library’s Manuscript Collection now includes a unique range of archive material on the Finnish history of learning and education from several centuries. Today, the collection comprises roughly 900 personal archives and several thousands of individual manuscripts, in total, approximately 3,000 metres of shelf space. The National Library continues to accept material for the Manuscript Collection. These days, paper-based material totalling approximately 30 to 50 metres of shelf space as well as born-digital documents are added to the collection each year.
The Manuscript Collection is available to customers in the Special Collections Reading Room. Orders and enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information: Jouni Ahmajärvi, head of services (email@example.com)
The exhibition activities at the National Library of Finland aim to increase awareness of the unique collections at our library. Exhibitions create new information content on our national cultural heritage. The topicality and the interest of the general public are taken into account in selecting the varied contents.
The exhibitions are planned and implemented in cooperation with researchers, cultural institutions and associations, universities and other scholarly communities. The aim is to provide scientifically competent research content in a popularised form. The exhibition materials are selected from the collections of the National Library of Finland.
All exhibitions are free.
Exhibitions are open during Library´s opening hours.
Groups of 5–25 people can reserve guided tours lasting one hour for the main exhibitions. Inquiries: kk-opastukset(at)helsinki.fi.
The year 2020
The Japonica-collection. The Japanese treasures of the National Library
2.12.2019 - 2.3.2020
The recipient of Content boxesthe 2020 Puupäähattu prize for a Finnish Comics Artists
23.1. - 28.8.2020
The most beautiful books 2019
17.8. - 31.10.2020
The year 2019
Puupäähattu Award for Finnish Comics Artist
18 January - 7 March 2019
The Most Beautiful Books 2018
14 March - 26 April 2019
Long ago ... Bulgaria
1.1. - 30.6.2019
What did Minna Canth read?
8.5. - 31.12.2019
Nopista bitteihin / From Dice to Bytes - 200 years of finnish gaming land
8.3. - 31.12.2019
The year 2018
1 March - 22 December 2018, Gallery
The most beautiful books 2017
15 March 2018 - 15 May 2018
Puupäähattu Award for Finnish Comics Artists
16 January - 9 March 2018
Humanist Greek from Finland
22 August - 5 October 2018
Music - The language of the soul. Richard Faltin (1835–1918)
11 October 2018 - 11 January 2019
The year 2017
Puupäähattu Award for Finnish Comics Artists
18 January - 20 March 2017
The world is a word - the history of the Finnish aphorism
17 February - 22 December 2017
On the path to freedom of speech
10 March - 22 December 2017
The most beautiful books
24 March - 20 October 2017
The Russian roots of research into ecclesiastical art
17 October 2016 - 30 November 2017
Ilmari Krohn – Living for music
8 November 2017 - 12 January 2018