In the Cupola Hall: The Literary Middle Ages. 1000 years of book history
Date: 7.6 - 20.10.2012
Place: In The Cupola Hall
National literary treasures for all!
The National Library of Finland’s The Literary Middle Ages exhibition displays the oldest national treasures of Finland’s literary culture for all to admire. Assembled by leading experts in the field, the exhibition tells the forgotten story of how Finland began to emerge as a cultural entity almost a thousand years ago. Many previously unseen treasures, long hidden away in archives, will now be revealed to the general public for the first time at the National Library of Finland’s Cupola Hall.
The exhibition culminates the Literary Culture in Medieval Finland, research project, initialized in 2006, that was associated with the digitization and configuration of a database, launched in March 2012, for the National Library of Finland’s internationally significant collection of parchment fragments. The exhibition’s expert group is Docent Tuomas Heikkilä, Researcher Jesse Keskiaho, and Researcher Jaakko Tahkokallio.
Found: 500 years of Finland’s oldest cultural history
Letters, books and literary culture arrived in Finland a millennium ago. Finland began to be known and included on maps of Europe during the Middle Ages, long before the first printed books and the development of Finland’s literary language. Often it is forgotten that written culture established itself in Finland hundreds of years before printing techniques and Mikael Agricola. Cultural Finland arose long before national Finland.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, a considerable number of medieval manuscripts and parchment fragments have been preserved in Finland. More pages of books have survived from the Middle Ages than any other objects. Using these fragments, researchers have now created an exhibition that explains medieval Finland’s international, Europeanized culture from top to bottom.
The Literary Middle Ages exhibition traces the oldest roots of our written culture for five centuries, from the arrival of letters and books in Finland to the mid-1500s. Besides international connections and the birth of Finland, the exhibition visitor gains insight into the everyday use of texts, the secrets of medieval book printing, and the challenges confronting today’s researchers.
Visitors to this unique exhibition can admire handwritten and printed books, text fragments, documents, everyday objects adorned with art and alphabetic characters, beauty from centuries gone by, skill, knowledge and practicality. Visitors can also find out how it feels to write on parchment with a quill pen. The exhibition reconciles the latest information technology with a thousand years of literary practices.
The exhibition is associated with The Literary Middle Ages Internet presentation (keskiaika.kansalliskirjasto.fi), that allows the “smuggling” of national treasures to home computer screens or cell phones.
Further information:Docent Tuomas Heikkilä, University of Helsinki,Tel. 050 3602100 email@example.comCultural Coordinator Inkeri Pitkäranta, National Library of Finland, Tel. 050 3027238 firstname.lastname@example.org