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Biography as a method for early modern history

Tampere University
Duration of project3.1.2021–11.12.2024
Area of focusSociety
a church mural presenting a distorted face

How can early modern history benefit from biographical methods and what does it mean for biography if it is done to study early modern history?


The project seeks to answer those questions by looking at 1) historiography, or how biographies have been used to write early modern history, 2) on a re-conceptualising level, or how we think biographies should evolve to be useful for historical ressearch on the early modern period today and in the future and  3) with sample case studies.

Follow  in twitter: Jacobina Munsterhjelm, a 13-year old girl's diary 1799. @JMunsterhjelm ,


Interested in reading more? See our webpage in Finnish,


or (in Finnish)


Mari Välimäki: (22.8.2022)

Tiina Miettinen: Jacobina Charlotta Munsterhjelm oli aatelisneiti, jonka päiväkirja avaa 1700-luvun arkea ( blogiartikkeli ( )

Tina Miettinen: Jacobina – ikuinen pikkutyttö. Jacobina Charlotta Munsterhjelm – ikuinen pikkutyttö — Lapsuuden historiaa (


The project organized a BA-level course (5ects) on Biorgaphy as a method for early modern studies during teahing period III 2022.

We were the "project of the month" of Triviumin -center for theclassical, medieval and early modern studies at Tampere univresity instagramin in March 2022. Members of the project also tweeted on our starting points and results in twitter May 2022. @JMunsterhjelm collected and retweeted those tweets.

THe project organized a session on early modern biographies at the National Early Modern Conference at Tampere April 2022 and members of the project have given lectures and papers to boh academic and wider audiences.

On 29.Oct.2022 we will organize a Theme Saturday "Henkilöhistoriat menneisyyden kuvaajina" with the Genealogical Society of Finland on the society's youtube-channel. See (only in FInnish).



Funding source

Jalmari Finnen säätiö