Tracing the Emergence of Nordic Allemansrätten through Digitised Parliamentary Sources

Matti Oula Juhana La Mela

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


The chapter studies the tradition of allemansrätten, a right of public access to nature, in recently digitized documents of the Finnish Parliament (1907-2000) using text mining methods. Allemansrätten is a well-known and much used principle in the Nordic countries, yet, its history is little researched. This study use collocation analysis and topic modelling to explore the historical trajectory of the term in Finland. It shows how ‘allemansrätt’ appeared in the 1940s as part of a temporary everyman’s fishing rights and while the current meaning is found in the 1960s it came to be commonly employed in outdoor recreation debates in the early 1970s, somewhat later than previously thought. Furthermore, a significant shift is discovered from allemansrätten’s use in access right debates to being marked as a national symbol in the 1990s. Although the OCR quality of the digitised parliamentary documents is proven to be very good, they lack in metadata which would improve their usability; thus digital historians should actively participate in the development of such key historical corpora.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital histories : Emergent approaches within the new digital history
EditorsMats Fridlund, Mila Oiva, Petri Paju
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherHelsinki University Press
Publication dateDec 2020
ISBN (Print)978-952-369-020-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-369-021-9, 978-952-369-022-6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • 6121 Languages

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