• PL 24 (Unioninkatu 40)



  • Finland


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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Mikko Tolonen is professor in digital humanities at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. His background is in intellectual history and he is the PI of Helsinki Computational History Group (COMHIS) at the Department of Digital Humanities. He has served in the executive board of European Association for Digital Humanities (EADH) and as the chair of Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries (DHNB). His current main research focus is on an integrated study of public discourse, knowledge production and book history that combines metadata from library catalogues as well as full-text libraries of books, newspapers and periodicals in early modern Europe. Tolonen's area of particular interest is the Enlightenment studies, including the intellectual develpment of Bernard Mandeville and David Hume. He is one of the editors of Hume's History of England for Oxford University Press. In 2016, he was awarded an Open Science and Research Award by Finnish Ministry of Education. 

For interviews, see: CSC interview (in Finnish) & 375 humanists (in English and other languages) & for twitter (@mikko_tolonen).

Curriculum vitae

Personal details and date of CV

  • Tolonen, Mikko Sakari 
  • ORCID: 0000-0003-2892-8911 | Research website: https://bit.ly/2pzcwda 
  • date of CV: 12.6.2023


  • PhD, Department of History, University of Helsinki (2010)
  • Title of docent: general history, University of Helsinki (2015)

Current employment

  • 2023– Professor of Digital Humanities, University of Helsinki

Previous work experience

  • 2020–2023 Associate Professor of Digital Humanities
  • 2017–2020 Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities
  • 2015–2017 Professor of Research on Digital Resources
  • 2012–2015 Post-doctoral researcher, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki
  • 2012–2013 Leverhulme Visiting Fellow, Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews, UK
  • 2010–2012 Post-doctoral researcher, Centre of Excellence in Philosophical Psychology, Morality, and Politics (PMP), University of Helsinki
  • 2005–2006 Doctoral researcher, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK

Research funding and grants

  • HPC-HD High Performance Computing for the Detection and Analysis of Historical Discourses, Academy of Finland consortium
  • RiCEP Rise of commercial society and eighteenth-century publishing, Academy of Finland consortium
  • PreCEM Presence of Classics in Earl Modern Book History, Seed Funding together with KU Leuven and Aalto (2022–2023)
  • NewsEye Horizon2020 collaborative project with multiple international partners (2018–2022)
  • DESIR Humanities at Scale: Evolving the DARIAH-ERIC, Horizon2020 project with 15 partners (development of Dariah in Finland, including national consortium FIRI application)
  • COMHIS Computational History and Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland, 1640–1910. Academy of Finland, Digital Humanities Programme Funding (2016–2019)
  • DIGITALIA Research Center on Digital Information Management (together with National Library of Finland and Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, 2015–2017)
  • HNE18 University of Helsinki funded project: History, Nature and Empire in Eighteenth-Century Europe
  • Big Data Approach to History of Political Thought Kone Foundation grant

Research output

  • Fin-Clariah infrastructure development (role as vice-director, 2020–)
  • Helsinki Computational History Group, data science ecosystem development (role as PI, 2017–)

Research supervision and leadership experience

  • Main supervisor in MA track on Digital Humanities (2020–), annual intake of students approx. 6-8
  • Current supervisor of 7 doctoral students in computational history, general history and digital humanities (3+4 primary/secondary supervision)
  • Several funded research projects with leadership of Helsinki Computational History Group since 2014, including supervision of 6 postdocs over the years

Teaching merits

  • 2018-2020 Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (KARVI), The evaluation of higher education in the humanities committee, vice-chair (report published in 2020)
  • Subject head of Digital Humanities at the department of Digital Humanities, responsible for digital humanities teaching modules and development of MA track, 2020–
  • Current annual teaching load includes 3 lecture courses, 2 project courses, hackathon and 2 seminars
  • Continuous pedagogic training (2015–)

Awards and honours

  • 2020 Best paper award, Nordic and Baltic Digital Humanities Conference, Riga (together with colleagues from digital humanities in Helsinki)
  • 2019 Best poster award, DH2019, Utrecht (together with research group), >1000 participants
  • 2019 Best paper award, Nordic Digital Humanities Conference, Copenhagen (together with research group)
  • 2018 SPARC Open Data Champion
  • 2016 Open Science and Research Award, awarded by Finnish Ministry of Education

Other key academic merits

  • Co-Editor of David Hume’s History of England for Oxford University Press (2020–2030)
  • Member of research committee for Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki (2021–)
  • Chair of research committee HSSH institute, University of Helsinki (2020–)
  • Open Science Ambassador for University of Helsinki, LERU (2020–)
  • Fin-Clariah vice-director (2020–)
  • CSC academic panel, SSH representative (2018–)
  • FinElib strategy group member (2015–)
  • Advisor for Clarin-ERIC (2019–)
  • Chair DHNB Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries (2019–2022)
  • Dariah-EU BiblioData Working Group, core member (2018–)
  • Executive board member of the National Library of Finland (2018–2022)
  • Executive committee member of European Association for Digital Humanities (EADH) (2018–2021)
  • Panelist, Jufo publication forum (2018–2021)
  • MILDRED, University of Helsinki Research Data Infrastructure Steering Group, Chair (2016–2018)
  • DIGITALIA, Research Centre on Digital Information Management, Steering Group (2015–2017)
  • Infrastructure committee for University of Helsinki central campus (2015–2019)
  • Board member Eighteenth-Century Studies Society in Finland (2019–2022)
  • HELDIG, Helsinki Digital Humanities Centre Steering Group for its establishment, member (2015–2016)

Scientific and societal impact

  • Expert panels: Several scientific evaluations in various countries in Europe, including UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Australia as well as EU funding calls (2015–)
  • Referee for scientific and scholarly journals: on average 3-4 articles per annum, journals include: Mind, History of European Ideas, European Journal of Political Theory, Utilitas, Hume Studies, etc.
  • Conference presentations: >10 keynote presentations in Nordic countries, Europe, USA and Australia along with numerous regular conference papers (2015–)
  • Conference chair >10 international conferences (2014–) Including: “Digital Humanities in Nordic Countries, 3rd annual conference” (2018), >300 participants; “Does Intellectual History Need Digital Humanities” (2018); “Philosophy and History of Open Science” (2016); “Digital History in Finland” (2015); “Conceptual Change: Digital Humanities Case Studies” (2015); “Big Data in History” (2014); “Fable of the bees after 300 years” (2014)

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Digital Humanities
  • intellectual history
  • History of Ideas
  • History of Philosophy
  • book history
  • Computational history
  • computational humanities
  • Data Science

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.
  • Open Science and Research Award

    Tolonen, Mikko (Recipient), Lahti, Leo Mikael (Recipient), Vaara, Ville Pekka (Recipient), Roivainen, Hege Henri Markus (Recipient), Mäkelä, Eetu (Recipient) & Kanner, Antti Olavi (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  • Best paper award at DHN 2019

    Hill, Mark J. (Recipient), Vaara, Ville (Recipient), Säily, Tanja (Recipient), Lahti, Leo (Recipient) & Tolonen, Mikko (Recipient), 8 Mar 2019

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  • Best paper award at DHN 2020

    Mäkelä, Eetu (Recipient), Lagus, Krista (Recipient), Lahti, Leo (Recipient), Säily, Tanja (Recipient), Tolonen, Mikko (Recipient), Hämäläinen, Mika (Recipient), Kaislaniemi, Samuli (Recipient) & Nevalainen, Terttu (Recipient), 23 Oct 2020

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  • Best poster award DH2019

    Tolonen, Mikko (Recipient), Marjanen, Jani (Recipient), Lahti, Leo (Recipient), Roivainen, Hege (Recipient) & Hill, Mark J. (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  • Open science price of the Open Science and Research project

    Happonen, Konsta Aleksi (Recipient), Lahti, Leo (Recipient), Laine, Heidi (Recipient), Lehtomäki, Joona Aleksi (Recipient), Paavolainen, Maija Pauliina (Recipient), Parland-von Essen, Eva Jessica (Recipient), Toivonen, Tuuli (Recipient) & Tolonen, Mikko Sakari (Recipient), 16 Nov 2017

    Prize: Prizes and awards