Dedicated to Palestine – the biography of Hilma Granqvist has been published in English

The biography of Finnish anthropologist Hilma Granqvist, titled Dedicated to Palestine and written by Dr. Sofia Häggman, has been published in English and is available for purchase.

“In the 1920s and ‘30s Finnish Ethnologist Hilma Granqvist (1890-1972) conducted ground-breaking ethnological fieldwork in the Palestinian village of Artas. She developed a new method of research, which involved active participation in the life of the community she studied. Granqvist was meticulous in her work and gathered comprehensive statistical data of most families and recorded every marriage in the village as far back as the villagers could remember. Based on her detailed statistics she was able to prove that theory often differed considerably from reality.

In this biography Sofia Häggman traces the life and work of this extraordinary scholar, who despite a constant uphill battle in Finnish academia never doubted that she had found her true calling in Palestine. The village of Artas had become her home, the one place where she felt welcome and at ease.

Granqvist was one of the first ethnologists to use photography in the field. She took hundreds of photographs in Artas, many of women and children. Today her photographs, as well as her field notes, remain a unique source material for the study of the life in a Palestinian village in the 1920s. Many of her photographs are included in this book.”

Mustavalkoinen valokuva, jossa hattupäinen naurava nainen istuu pellon laidalla lyhde sylissään. Taustalla kolme henkilöä keräävät viljaa pellolta.
Photo: Palestine Exploration Fund

Granqvist’s fieldwork in Palestine has gained worldwide attention. Her research material has been in great demand, and after a period of limited access, is now available in the digital Hilma Granqvist archive at The archive includes the material relating to her research, such as an extensive photo collection, as well as her published books and a summary of her life written by Dr. Häggman.

The Archive of Hilma Granqvist is a collaboration between the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, the Finnish Institute in the Middle East, The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, The Palestine Exploration Fund, and the Åbo Akademi University Library.

Watch the recording of the streamed book launch

Listen to a podcast episode on Granqvist’s life on FIME’s Lähi-itä NYT Podcast (in Finnish)

A screenshot of the Hilma Granqvist Digital Archive. Three old black and white photos with typewritten old captions in Swedish. Photos are portraits of Palestinians at an orchard and a wineyard.
Screenshot of Granqvist’s photos in the digital Hilma Granqvist Archive.