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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Tuomas Heikkilä (b. 1972), PhD, docent in general history and and church history (University of Helsinki) and docent in Finnish history (University of Turku), is one of the most influential Finnish medievalists. Currently employed at the University of Helsinki, he has previously been the Director of the Finnish research institute in Rome, Italy, (2013-2017); Visiting Research Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (2010); and Visiting Scholar at the University of Gothenburg (2009).

Heikkilä's almae matres are the University of Helsinki, the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany, as well as the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana where he took the European Diploma in Medieval Studies. 

Originally a historian, Heikkilä has emphasized multidisciplinary scholarship. His fields of expertise include written culture and the change of information environment, medieval hagiography, manuscript studies, monastic history, and computer-assisted stemmatology. Heikkilä has published widely on these topics in several languages.

Heikkilä wrote his doctoral thesis (Vita et miracula s. Symeonis Treverensis – ein hochmittelalterlicher Heiligenkult im Kontext, Academia Scientiarum Fennica 2002) on high medieval hagiography in Western Europe. Later on, he expanded his expertise to include Nordic hagiography and edited the legend of St Henry, the Finnish national saint. The studies resulted in monographs in Finnish and Swedish as well as the first critical edition of the oldest literary work composed in Finland.

In 2006–2011, Heikkilä directed a large-scale research project on the arrival and development of written culture in Finland. The project resulted in a detailed picture of the implications of Latin written culture in a European periphery as well as a research database of the fragmenta membranea collection of the National Library of Finland. Heikkilä has also been one of the driving forces behind the two other Finnish databases on medieval sources: the Diplomatarium Fennicum and the Codices Fennici.

In 2009–2012, Tuomas Heikkilä directed Studia Stemmatologica, an international multidisciplinary scholarly network concentrating on exploring the possibilities and different uses of computer-assisted stemmatology.

In 2013-2017, Heikkilä was the director of the oldest and most prestigious Finnish scholarly institute abroad, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae. In Rome, Heikkilä's research group concentrated on the study of different aspects of time and calendars in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In addition, Heikkilä is currently finishing a critical edition of the Vita et miracula s. Symeonis for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.

Education/Academic qualification

Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Director, Professor, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae

1 Aug 201331 Jul 2017

External positions

Associate Professor in Finnish history (Title of Docent), University of Turku

Mar 2013 → …


  • 614 Theology
  • Church history
  • Monastic history
  • Strategies of written culture
  • Cultural heritage
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Written culture
  • Changing information environment
  • Manuscripts
  • Incunabula
  • Digital humanities
  • Computational history
  • 612 Languages and Literature
  • Written culture
  • Stemmatology
  • Textual criticism
  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • Stemmatology
  • Digital humanities
  • Phylomemetics
  • 114 Physical sciences
  • Radio carbon dating
  • Stabile isotopes

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 1995 2019

Sankt Henrikslegenden

Heikkilä, T., 2009, Helsingfors ; Stockholm: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland Atlantis. 336 p. (Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland; no. 720)

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

Evaluating methods for computer-assisted stemmatology using artificial benchmark data sets

Roos, T. T. & Heikkilä, T., 2009, In : Literary and Linguistic Computing. 24, 4, p. 417-433 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Vita s. Symeonis Treverensis: Ein hochmittelalterlicher Heiligenkult im Kontext

Heikkilä, T., 2002, Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. 330 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Das Kloster Fulda und der Goslarer Rangstreit

Heikkilä, T., 1998, Helsinki: Academia scientiarum Fennica. 222 p. ( Suomalaisen tiedeakatemian toimituksia, Sarja Humaniora; vol. 298)

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

Schriftliche Kultur als Mittel gegen äußere Feinde und innere Unruhe: das Kloster Fulda unter Abt Widerad (1060-1075)

Heikkilä, T., 1998, Roma, magistra mundi: Itineraria culturae medievalis : mélanges offerts au Père L.E. Boyle à l’occasion de son 75e anniversaire. Hamesse, J. H. (ed.). Louvain-la-Neuve: Federation Internationale des Instituts d'Etudes Medievales, p. 155-171 16 p. (Textes et études du moyen âge ; no. 10,3).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Projects 1998 2020

Nordic Medieval Book History in the European Context

Heikkilä, T., Mortensen, L. B., Ommundsen, Å., Gejrot, C. & Már Gunnlaugsson, G.

Vetenskapsrådet, Sweden


Project: Research project

Activities 1994 2019

Digitaalisuus ja rohkeus ihmistieteissä

Tuomas Heikkilä (Speaker), Mikko Sakari Tolonen (Speaker), Minna Susanna Ruckenstein (Speaker), Jaakko Suominen (Speaker)
11 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Assessment of Dr Katharina Kunter for the title of docent (Event)

Tuomas Heikkilä (Board member)
Apr 2019May 2019

Activity: Membership typesAssessment of candidates for academic posts

Studia Stemmatologica VIII

Tuomas Heikkilä (Member of organizing committee)
3 Apr 20195 Apr 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Tietokirjaraati (External organisation)

Tuomas Heikkilä (Board member)
Apr 2019

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in review committee

Kirkkotila avautuu

Tuomas Heikkilä (Member of organizing committee)
15 Jan 201920 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Press / Media

Politicized Religion in Russia

Tuomas Heikkilä


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Computer science department 50 years!

Tuomas Heikkilä


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

The Finnish Institute in Rome

Tuomas Heikkilä


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media