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  • Tracing the Emergence of Nordic Allemansrätten through Digitised Parliamentary Sources

    Matti La Mela

    Chapter from the book: Fridlund, M et al. 2020. Digital Histories: Emergent Approaches within the New Digital History.


    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.

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    How to cite this chapter
    La Mela, M. 2020. Tracing the Emergence of Nordic Allemansrätten through Digitised Parliamentary Sources. In: Fridlund, M et al (eds.), Digital Histories. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33134/HUP-5-11

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Dec. 7, 2020


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