sunnuntai 11. maaliskuuta 2012

Origins of the Finnish database

Hello again!
The topic for our lecture last week was databases and how to build them. As the key person to construction of (local) databases, was a certain gentleman by the name Henrik Grönroos pointed out. This man, working as a librarian at the National Library, had always been very interested about book and started early on categorising and listing estate inventories and auction catalogues, the first of which dated back to the 17th Century in Finland. He was interested in discovering the history of the book - who bought books, and what kind of books were they? This ambition eventually led to a very thorough and vast compilation called "Boken i Finland" (1996). Grönroos also published several essays on the special characteristics of books, books collectors and readers.

Grönroos' lifework inspired the establishment of the Henrik database (Henrik-tietokanta). This database allows a possibility of solving the connections between the owners of different books and the books' significance of the Finnish cultural landscape, especially during the Swedish reign. In this manner we can say that Grönroos was a pioneer within the foundation of Finnish databases, and that it is him and his ambitious work we owe thanks to for the vast databases we use nowadays. This also gave rise to ER model (entity-relationship model, more about it on Wikipedia 8D!), which basically means an abstract and conceptual representation of data.

Well, since I suck at coding and I'm not generally interesting in building tiring tables in Excel, I'll leave it to someone more able than me 8D! Now I'm off to write on my Pro-seminar and study for a retake exam in Art History, both due in a few days! See ya!

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