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Museum collects letters by Tove Jansson – do you have one?

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Tove Jansson received around 2000 letters per year and strived to answer them all personally, by hand. Now the Postal Museum in Finland and Moomin Characters are looking for letters written by Tove Jansson, read more about how to submit yours.


Have you received or are you in possession of a letter written by Tove Jansson? Now is your chance to make it public and delight other Tove Jansson fans and researchers. 

2000 letters per year

Tove Jansson was a great correspondent, writing many, and often long letters to family, friends and lovers. She usually used black India ink to write her letters and illustrated some of them, frequently with sketches of herself in new situations.

When translations of the Moomin books were published in different parts of the world in the 1950s and 1960s, Tove Jansson’s number of contacts increased and her correspondence became international.

As her fame grew, so did her professional correspondence, including answers to business proposals, publishers, and a growing fanbase. On average, she received 2000 letters per year. During the summer months spent in the archipelago, the mail was delivered once a week. 

Tove Jansson did not want to be like the French president

Tove Jansson took pride in answering all letters she received, especially those written by children. According to Boel Westin, Tove Jansson loved telling the story of how her brother Per Olov wrote to the President of France and asked him to get rid of the Foreign Legion. But when the President didn’t answer, their mother Signe Hammarsten-Jansson answered in the President’s place, saying the President would think the matter over. This episode installed in Tove the conviction that children deserve answers to their letters, and she stried to live up to that ideal. 

One of the letters Tove Jansson received from from a fan inspired her to write the iconic picture book “The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My” – you can read more about the touching letter here. 

The Postal Museum collects letters from Tove Jansson 

The Postal Museum and Moomin Characters Ltd are looking for letters that Tove Jansson wrote to her readers. In the first phase of the project, the museum and Moomin Characters aim to explore the kinds of letters in existence, and later potentially produce an exhibition or publication of Tove’s letters. The Museum will be in contact with all respondents after the collection process is completed in autumn 2022. Read more and submit a photo of your letter here.


 


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