COMHIS- Computational History and the Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland, 1640–1910

The point of departure of the COMHIS project is to study and reassess the nature and quality of Finnish public discourse between 1640 and 1910. The project analyses how language barriers, elite culture and popular debate, reuse of texts and publication channels interact with each other. Since the key source materials of the project are digitised Finnish newspapers the Centre for Preservation and Digitisation of the National Library of Finland is an important partner for it. The newspaper materials digitised by the National Library of Finland up until 1910 are freely available through the service.

Goal and tasks

The project studies the change in public discourse in Europe and Finland between 1640 and 1910 as well as Finnish information production as a part of European development. The project uses as its source materials digitised newspapers and library catalogues. The quality of digitised newspapers is improving all the time and they are studied, for example, with the help of text-mining.
The multidisciplinary project considerably consolidates the cooperation between research and the National Library of Finland offering research resources. COMHIS is a new initiative in the operation of memory organisations in the field of digital humanities; it promoted the openness of science in a completely new way.

Project setters

Centre for Preservation and Digitisation



Project status



Funding is provided by the Academy of Finland. The National Library of Finland and other participating organisations have a self-financing share.


In addition to the Centre for Preservation and Digitisation of the National Library of Finland, the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Helsinki,
the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku, which coordinates the project, and the Department of Information Technology at the University of Turku participate in the project.