Research & outputs
The main research objective of the group is an integrated study of public discourse and knowledge production that combines metadata from library catalogues as well as full-text libraries of books, newspapers and periodicals in early modern Europe.

For a comprehensive list of COMHIS publications, see our page on the University of Helsinki research portal. COMHIS-related projects and selected articles are listed below. COMHIS is committed to the principles of open science. When possible, we release the datasets and code used for our research projects.


COMHIS is involved in several projects representing different areas of expertise. These projects include:

  • Rise of commercial society and eighteenth-century publishing, Academy of Finland funded consortium (2020-2024)
  • Computational History and the Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland, 1640–1910, (national consortium)
  • NewsEye, an H2020-funded project aiming to study newspapers (link to NewsEye).
  • The Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon, a yearly event held at the University of Helsinki, which aims to lock people (from the BA to the prof level, from heterogenous backgrounds) up for 8 days until a proper academic poster can be presented (link to DHH).
  • Vernacularization and Nation Building: Historical, Linguistic and Computational Perspectives (2019-2021, University of Helsinki 3-year grant)

Selected articles

Hill, M. J. & Hengchen, S. (2019). Quantifying the impact of dirty OCR on historical text analysis: Eighteenth Century Collections Online as a case study. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities.

Hill, M. J., Vaara, V., Säily, T., Lahti, L., & Tolonen, M. (2019). Reconstructing Intellectual Networks: From the ESTC’s bibliographic metadata to historical material. In: Navarretta, C., Agirrezabal, M. and Maegaard, B. (eds.). Proceedings of the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 4th Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, March 5–8, 2019. Aachen: CEUR Workshop Proceedings vol. 2364: 201-219. [Best paper award]

Kurunmäki, J. & Marjanen, J. (2018). A Rhetorical View of Isms: An Introduction. Journal of Political Ideologies, 23(3): 241-255. DOI:10.1080/13569317.2018.1502939

Lahti, L., Marjanen, J., Roivainen, H., & Tolonen, M. (2019). Bibliographic Data Science and the History of the Book (c. 1500–1800). Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 57(1): 5–23. DOI: 10.1080/01639374.2018.1543747

Mäkelä, E., Tolonen, M., Marjanen, J., Kanner, A., Vaara, V., & Lahti, L. (2019). Interdisciplinary collaboration in studying newspaper materiality. In: Krauwer, S. and Fišer, D. (eds.). Proceedings of the Twin Talks Workshop, co-located with Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries (DHN 2019). Aachen: CEUR Workshop Proceedings vol. 2365: 55–66.

Marjanen, J., Vaara, V., Kanner, A., Roivainen, H., Mäkelä, E., Lahti, L., & Tolonen, M. (2019). A National Public Sphere? Analyzing the Language, Location, and Form of Newspapers in Finland, 1771–1917. Journal of European Periodical Studies, 4(1): 54–77. DOI: 10.21825/jeps.v4i1.10483

Tolonen, M., Lahti, L., Roivainen, H., & Marjanen, J. (2019). A Quantitative Approach to Book-Printing in Sweden and Finland, 1640–1828. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 52(1): 57-78. DOI: 10.1080/01615440.2018.1526657