Literacy, ABC books, and primary readers in Finnish immigrant homes and communities in the US

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


The chapter focuses on the home education of reading and writing in Finnish language in immigrant families and the role of ABC books and primary readers in this process. The study is based on archival research and fieldwork in the Finnish communities of Rockport and Lanesville on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. Primary sources are Finnish ABC books and primary readers published in the U.S. for Finnish children between 1877 and 1929. These books were used in homes or at Sunday and summer schools organized by both religious and socialist organizations. Some private family collections of ABC books are used as comparative material. The analysis focuses on images of home, reading, and writing. ABC books were tools of cultural exchange between Finland and the Finnish communities in North America. Different political and religious groups valued Finnish language and culture. Another shared value was respect for children’s physical integrity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReading Home Cultures through Books
EditorsKirsti Salmi-Niklander, Marija Dalbello
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date28 Feb 2022
Article number2
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-68913-1 , 978-0-367-68916-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-13959-1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series


Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities
  • Folklore Studies
  • Book history
  • Reading
  • Immigration
  • Primers
  • Literacy

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