A4 Article in conference proceedings
The Long-Term Reuse of Text in the Finnish Press, 1771–1920

List of Authors: Salmi Hannu, Rantala Heli, Vesanto Aleksi, Ginter Filip
Publication year: 2019
Journal: CEUR Workshop Proceedings
Book title *: Proceedings of the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 4th Conference (DHN 2019), Copenhagen, Denmark, March 5-8, 2019
Title of series: CEUR Workshop Proceedings
Volume number: 2364
ISSN: 1613-0073


This paper is based on the study of text reuse in the Finnish press from 1771-1920. In the Computational History and the Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland (COMHIS) project, we found 61 million occurrences of similarity, which formed 13.8 million clusters of reuse. This material also included strikingly slow processes of repetition, and the longest reuse cases were almost as long as the time span of the project. In sum, 2.03 million clusters, 15 per cent of the total amount, were longer than 12 months. As well, 76,259 clusters spanned over 20 years or more. The longest span was 146 years. The paper explores the volume and nature of this long-term text reuse in the Finnish press and analyses three distinctive features of slow repetition: newspapers as a site of memory, newspapers as an archive and the political ramifications of reuse. The paper argues that the habit of reprinting old texts aimed to bridge the gap between past and present, emphasising the continuity between old and new. On the other hand, there were cases where past texts were activated precisely for the opposite purposes, to obscure the past and to show how different the bygone world was.

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Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 21:43