IIppo Vuorinen relates the stories of Seili with the precision of a researcherThe newly published Seili – Elon kirjoa book, written by the long-standing Director of the Archipelago Research Institute, Professor emeritus Ilppo Vuorinen, is both a fantastic journey into the colourful history of the island of Seili and a glimpse into the writer’s life’s work.
When this young biology student visited the island of Seili for the first time in 1975, he could hardly imagine that this unique island located in the Turku Archipelago would become the backdrop for a significant portion of his life’s work. Nor could he have known that nearly half a century later, he would be writing a book on the fascinating phases of the island’s history.
‘The idea to write a book developed gradually. I learned about the many phases of Seili’s history during my studies in the 1970s, and the stories I heard remained circulating around in my head for a long time’, Vuorinen explains.
In 1992, Vuorinen was appointed as Director of the Archipelago Research Institute. In this capacity, Vuorinen had the opportunity to introduce numerous guests, who were visiting the institute from Finland and around the world, to the nature and intriguing history of Seili.
‘After repeatedly telling the stories I had heard during my student years, I became more and more interested in the history of the island. I wanted to really examine the background of these stories with the thoroughness of a researcher. Original documents confirmed the truth behind some of the wildest stories, but I couldn’t find evidence to back up everything I had heard’, Vuorinen says with a laugh.
In 2016, Vuorinen retired and he had more time to realise this slowly developing idea. The book, which was published in June 2020, is a compelling information packet about the island and deals with its role in medical history, ideological and political history, the history of the State of Finland and the history of the University of Turku.
Vuorinen has dedicated the book to Sakari Alhopuro, who has provided long-term support, in multiple ways, for the research work being carried out on the island of Seili.
If you truly want to dive deep into the history of Seili, you should also check out the source references list at the end of the book.
Seili – Elon kirjoa (in Finnish) can be purchased at the following bookstores: Akateeminen kirjakauppa, Sammakon Kirjakauppa and Pieni Kirjapuoti. The book can also be ordered from the publisher's online shop at www.kustannusaarni.fi.