The Libraries of Denmark. Copenhagen. 1929. 21 sider.

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The Libraries of Denmark

THE Royal Library, the largest library of Scandinavia and the National-Library of Denmark was founded by King Frederic III (d. 1670), and has incorporated the greater part of the large and wideranging book-collections, found in Denmark in the 18th century; it received for instance from Mr. Otto Thott, the Prime Minister, more than 4.000 manuscripts, and more than 6.000 books, printed before the year of 1530. An universal library of more than 100.000 volumes, belonging to Mr. P. F. Suhm, the historian (d. 1798), and a special library of Danish printings of about 10.000 volumes, belonging to Mr. Henrik Hjelmstjerne (d. 1780), were likewise embodied into the Royal Library, the largest and most complete collection of Danish national literature, by this time existing. At the close of the 18th century the library was, on all lines and on all sciences one of the most excellent in Europe.
During the 19th century the library has, owing to the rise in book-production, more and more concentrated in humanities, and, when the Danish state in 1924, appointed a commission to organize the Danish libraries after rational principles, the Royal Library was intrusted to act as the Main Library of the country, on humaniora, while the University Library obtained a corresponding position, concerning medicine and natural science. More over, the position of the library as National-Library was maintained, i. e., the library must collect and keep the Danish literature, in an extent, as complete as possible.
The book-stock of the Royal Library, covering 24.300 m. in compact setting., is at, present estimated to encompas about 850.000 volumes, viz: about 30.000 manuscripts, and more than 4.000 palaeotypes, besides encompassing music-, photographmap- and picture-collections. Amongst the manuscripts are Tycho Brahe's autographic observations, and the world-famed old-Icelandic parchment manuscripts of the carlier Eddic poems and the FlatoeBook, with a statement of the Vikings' discovery of America, 500 years before Columbus.
At the library serve the director, eight librarians, ten sublibrarians, and eight librarian-assistants, besides extra assistants. The library has its own bookbindery, and a photographer's studio.


THE library was established in 1482, three years after the foundation of the University; but not until the introduction of the Reformation into Denmark was it enlarged extensively, for instance by embodiment of bookcollections from abolished cloisters and cathedral-chapters. Only a smaller part of it was open to the students; it was merely reserved for the professors. In the first part of the 17th century it was quite enlarged, for instance by the endowment of the royal historiographers' effects, among which were many valuable sources of Danish history. In the second part of the 17th century it received the most valuable donation, Professor P. H. Resen's (d. 1688) book-collection, rich in paleaotypes and Icelandic manuscripts.
In 1657 the library was removed to the loft of the Trinity Church, this being burnt down and ruined by the great fire; ravaging Copenhagen in 1728. But the first steps were soon made for the commencement of another library, for which many distributions were received; partly by numerous duplicates received from the Royal Library, partly by large manuscript-collections, especially from Frederic Rostgaard (d. 1775), and from the Earl, Chr. Rantzau (d. 1771). By purchase, copied sources of the medieval Danish history (by Bartholin Thomas, the Y.) were acquired; also a collection of Greek and Latin manuscripts from Mr. J. A. Fabricius, the philologist. Messrs. Rasmus Rask and N. L. Westergaard, the celebrated linguists, donated collections of Oriental manuscripts, among which was the famous Old-Persian manuscripts, containing the oldest existing Zend-Avesta-Texts. In 1861 the library was removed to the present building, the prototype of which is St. Fermo Church at Venice, and the book-hall of which is an architectural curiosity, but it is not at all up to the requirements of today, as a practical library-building ought to be.
In the year of 1867, Major-general J. F. Classen (d. 1792) bestowed upon the library his book-collection on the natural sciences, and already previously another similar collection from the Earl J. G. Moltke (d. 1818) had come into possession of the library. Through these additions the natural sciences gradually took an outstanding place at the library.
Of the accessions of late we shall emphasize the manuscripts from Søren Kierkegaard, the philosopher (given 1875) and the manuscripts by Mr. H. C. Ørsted, the physicist, both collections being very valuable. At present the library is estimated to contain about 430.000 volumes, 6.500 mss. and about 180.000 foreign theses. The Danish literature has until 1927 been received through legal-delivery from the printers, but since 1927 this arrangement has been dissolved for a new one, in consequence of which the library has a right to request from the publishers, what it is in need of.
Since the re-arranging of the libraries of the state in 1926, the library cultivates foreign literature, especially Natural Science (Botany only to a slight degree), Mathematics and Medicine, while the remaining subjects are left to the Royal Library.
This separation of the subjects will, by degrees also, be effected in the older bookstock.
The entire estimate for the library is 60.000 Kr., 25.000 Kr. of which are spent in books and periodical-subscriptions. The building was in 1907 enlarged by an addition, modelled after the magazine-principle and built with five stories. Besides the book-stock and 5 office-localities the building is furnished with a reading-room of 52 seats, a room for book-circulating, a room for catalogs and a periodical-reading-room, in which about 400 periodicals are laid open to the readers.
At the library are engaged: The director, 6 librarians, 10 sub-librarians and 2 librarian-assistants. In the second half of the 19th century, the library developed into a State-Library, to which not only the university-professors and students have free admission, but also any searcher of knowledge. The reading-rooms are open 13 hours on week-days.
The archives of the University are also embodied in the building, and here is kept the papal bull concerning the foundation of the University, also the Arna-Magnean Mss.-collections (about 2.570 mss., about 6.000 original diplomas, and about 10.000 copies of other diplomas), the largest collection of Old-Norwegian-Old-Icelandish literature, given to the University by the Icelander, Arne Magnusson (d. 1731). A printed catalog of this collection was published 1889-94; for the library's own Mss.-collection a printed catalog covering, the Oriental part was published 1846, and as to the Northern parts a catalog is under publication now.
The library acts as the center for exchanging publications of the University with other universities and sends every year the Danish theses to numerous institutions abroad. In the year of 1929 a catalogue of the Danish thesis-literature from 1836 to 1926 was published.
A series of reference-libraries are united to the University, partly at the different laboratories, partly at the museums and other institutions. The largest laboratory-library is the philological-historical laboratory, established 1896, about 11.000 volumes. Of the museum-libraries the most valuable is the library of the Botanical Garden, founded 1791, having about 25.000 volumes, among which is much old literature, this now acting as the chief-library of the country on the botanical domain. Other large libraries are united to the Astronomical Observatory (about 10.000 vol.) the Zoological Museum (about 30.000 vol.) and the Mineralogical Museum (about 18.000 vol.).
Reference-libraries are also at other institutions, e. g. the Navy-library, founded 1765, at present numbering about 24.000 vol. besides a large arctic collection, the Artillery-library (abt. 21.000 vol.), the library of the Ordnance-maps (abt. 19.000 vol.), the Meteorological Institute-Library (abt. 17.000 vol.), the National-Museum-Library (abt. 25.000 vol. archaology), the Art-Museum-library (abt. 7.000 vol.), the Serum-Institute of the State (abt. 6.000 vol.). Also to the larger hospitals, particularly to the State Hospital, belong some reference-libraries.
All the libraries mentioned are, more or less open to the public, although only a portion of them allows the use of books out of the library. The laboratory-libraries, belonging to the University, are only available to the students.


THE State Library in Aarhus is a universal Library, containing about 300.000 volumes, besides music-books, maps, pictures, pamphlets etc., and is the third largest library of Denmark, the only large scientific library outside the Capital.
At the establishment of the library in the year of 1902 the duplicates of the Danish literature from the Royal Library in Copenhagen were incorporated and since that year the library receives deposit copies of all Danish printed matter, so that the library now contains practically all Danish prints after the year 1800, and also a very considerable part of the older literature. The main constituent of the foreign department at the State Library was formed of two, by that time, existing local libraries and three large private collections; viz. that of Mr. Wegener, the keeper of the State Archives, that of Mr. Regenburg, superior magistrate of the diocese of Aarhus, concerning the duchies of Slesvig and Holsten, and the library of foreign missions of Dean Vahl, a collection of international importance. Later different society libraries, private libraries, and special collections have been incorporated into the State Library., which, moreover, goes on increasing by purchase, by endowments, and by change and exchange of duplicates with similar institutions abroad and in this country. The library works in intimate connection with the scientific institutions and associations in Aarhus, and has thus, together with the Medical Society of Jutland established a medical department.
Duplicates of foreign literature have lately been received from the two large scientific libraries in Copenhagen. The State Library sends out annual lists of accessions of foreign literature and publishes a series of subject catalogs. The library staff comprehends 20 persons, besides bookbinders, keepers etc.
Adults, living outside Copenhagen, have the right to use the library. The loan in Aarhus comprises therefore only about 25 of the entire loan, amounting to 62.741 volumes during the year 1928, a great deal of this loan takes place through the local libraries. Only special and scientific literature, together with fiction in foreign language is lent out; Danish fiction is excepted from ordinary loan.
The library has organized a circulation of scientific and special periodicals; in 1929 264 periodicals circulate among 500 subscribers.
The reading room with a reference library of about 3.300 volumes and about 250 periodicals is open on week-days from 11-22; during the 4 summer-months only from 11-18; this reading-room being used by about 27.000 visitors in 1928.
The State Library published in 1927 a comprehensive account of its activity, during the first 25 years. The State Library is the library of the new university of Aarhus (Universitetsundervisningen i Jylland). A section of the reading-room is reserved to the university people.
The newspaper collection of the State in Aarhus is a section of the State Library. It was opened 1918 and receives deposit copies of all Danish newspapers, that are bound in the collection's own bookbinding and are at the disposal of the public in the reading, room. The collection numbers at present about 16.000 volumes. The newspaper-collection is administered by a manager, who has two assistants.


THE object of the public libraries is to aid the general public educationally, during all stages of its development and to become a support for and a supplement to the work undertaken by the schools, public (primary) schools as well as other schools for elementary education, whether this is of a general kind, as in public schools (folk-high-schools and other schools for young people) or of a special kind (agricultural, technical or commercial schools, etc.). The public libraries must, moreover, provide and directly support the free public educational work (lectures and study circles).
The public libraries are, therefore, different from scientific libraries, as well as from club- or circulating libraries, these serving either special interests or providing only occasional entertainment. Yet, scientific studies can very well be pursued in a public library when this can be done by means of the stock of books necessary for a public library, and, in addition, the public libraries promote scientific research by borrowing literature not in their own possession from other libraries, without regard to their use for further aim than the library's own.
The stock of books of the public libraries must in the first instance contain a collection of the best literature for children and young people, besides a collection of good fiction of all kinds, selected without prejudice and so as to satisfy every stage of development.
In addition to this material instructive geographical and historical works must be on the shelves, in the front row books of travel and biographies. Furthermore, a varied selection of publications on aesthetical, cultural, social, and religious subjects, and in particular on national history and culture. Finally, a selection of the best books on nature, and works of practical guidance on agriculture, commerce, crafts and industries.
Furthermore the larger libraries must arrange in their reading-room not only reference-books, such as enclyclopaedias, lexicons, directories, codes of laws, etc., but also large manuals on diffferent subjects. In the reading-room should also be found the current anual series of periodicals and newspapers.
Particularly characteristic of the Danish library is the co-operation between the libraries: a number of town-libraries serving, besides their own town, a larger country district, as a rule a county (with 50-100.000 inhabitants).
These so-called Central-Libraries lend to the country district, such books as are not considered necessary for the smaller parish libraries. They also aid the smaller libraries by every means by purchasing books, by cataloging, etc., and, finally, the Central Libraries serve as distributing-institutions for loan froms the scientific libraries of the State all of which are practically to be found in Copenhagen. For the aid of this last activity, the State has established an information bureau in Copenhagen, to which any book requisitions from the town libraries may be sent for closer examination and may be distributed to the individual libraries.
The Public Libraries or as their official name is the State-Supported Libraries, were organised by the Public Libraries Act of March 5, 1920, renewed in 1923. The Public Libraries Act provides for the distribution of the Government subsidy, lays down the conditions on which grants may be obtained, and regulates the Government supervision of the libraries.
The Government subsidy to any Library must not exceed the grants from local sources (County or parish funds or contributions from private persons), the maximum Government subsidy to any one municipality or parish being 15.000 Kr. annually. The so-called Central Libraries may, however, receive up to 23.000 Kr., while bigger towns may be granted still larger sums, as specified in each individual case.
The libraries are as a rule municipal, and are invariably under public control. The use of the libraries is either free or conditional on the payment of a very low fee. The area served by each library is as a rule a municipality or parish (commune), the Central Libraries, however, serving a larger district or a County. The librarians of the larger libraries must be approved by the Government, which lays down the rules governing the borrowing of books and the use of reading rooms.
The supervision of the libraries and the distribution of the Government , subsidy are in charge of the Library Inspectorate, the head of which is the Director of Public Libraries. The Library Inspectorate also administers the grants to school libraries. The Public Library Inspectorate prepares various handbooks etc., and issues bibliographical publications, one being an annual index to periodical literature. It furthermore directs the Government Librarian School and advises the Ministry of Education in questions relating to the management of libraries.
The maximum Government grant to the particular libraries is normally 15.000 Kr.; for the Central Libraries, however, it is 23.000 Kr. To understand these figures it must be remembered that only 10 of the municipalities in Denmark have above 20.000 inhabitants.
The libraries for children associated with the public schools are not affected by The Library Act, but receive a special grant. Since 1928 the state, however, only subsidizes the children's libraries of the schools in municipalities, where no public library is to be found. In most of the municipalities the public library has taken over the libraries for children, however, so that book lending, may take place from the schools, if desired, the school then acting as a branch of the public library.
The number of state subzidized libraries is at present about 840; 750 are in about 1.800 small parishes, while libraries are to be found in all towns, 80 in all. Of these libraries 27 are acknowledged as Central Libraries, which are now found in all counties, except one.
The entire number of volumes in the libraries is about 1.700.000 (about 250.000 of which are in the public libraries of Copenhagen). The local contribution from the municipality, private persons and institutions makes about 1.700.000 Kr. (about 600.000 Kr. of which from Copenhagen). The grant from the state is about 950.000 Kr.


CARLSBERG LABORATORIUMS BIBLIOTEK, København, Valby, was founded 187G; it aims to serve the staff of the laboratory and contains a Reference Library of abt. 5.000 volumes specially on chemical, biological and brewery-technical literature.
DANSK FARMACEVTFORENINGS BIBLIOTEK, København, V., was founded 1890; its chief aim is to serve practicing chemists. It contains abt. 6.000 volumes on chemistry, botany, bacteriology, pharmacology, toxocology, physics, mathematics and medicine, and especially pharmacopoeia. Further, a collection of dispensing prescriptions, an archive containing photographs of famous chemists and a collection of envelopes used for their prescriptions by Danish chemists and peculiar to the different chemistries. - Printed catalogue issued 1927. Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 14-17, Saturday 11-13.
DANSK INGENIØRFORENING, København, V. Reference library for the members of the association. Open daily from 9-17.
DANSK SKOLEMUSEUMS BIBLIOTEK, København, V. was established in 1887. It contains about 20.000 volumes, and is devoted to pedagogic and schoolquestions. Special collections of school-programmes and Danish school-books must be emphasized, these having been used for century; besides it has a particular picture collection, relating to elder school-history and different material to throw light upon school-museums of other countries. About 150 periodicals on pedagogical and philosophical subjects are at disposal. The library has published several reference lists, and has also a handwritten reference-catalog of the contents of the library. It is open from 2-7, except on Saturday, and during the summer from 2-5.
DEN KGL. VETERINÆR- OG LANDBOHØJSKOLES BIBLIOTEK (Library of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural College), København, V. Special library for veterinary science, agriculture, forestry, horticulture and landsurveying. Contains abt. 92.000 volumes, including pamphlets and theses; especially a large collection of manuscripts. Up til 1916 printed catalogue, thereafter type-written. Alphabetical and systematical catalogues, the first on single sheets and the second in loose-leaf register, now being reconstructed to the filing-card system. - The library sends books and magazines to all parts. A main part of the foreign periodicals are indexed on cards. Indexing lists are published in professional papers. Open daily 9-16, July and August 9-12.
DET SOCIALE SEKRETARIATS BIBLIOTEK, Køben-havn, K., founded 1899, for the purpose of spreading knowledge of social conditions and movements in and outside of Denmark. The library is owned by a private, state subvented society, which acts neutrally as well politically as confessionally. It contains 10.000 volumes, especially on social literature, and has from the year 1900 card catalogue of all foreign literature on social-economics to be found in the most important Danish libraries. - Open daily 13-16.30, Tuesday 13-18.
DET STATISTISKE DEPARTEMENTS. BIBLIOTEK. København, K., was founded 1834. It acts as special library for statistic literature and as reference library for the staff of the department. It contains abt. 40.000 volumes statistical literature,, besides a number of topographical and economical works, statistical literature is to be found only in few other libraries. Type-written card-catalogues are provded for the readers. - Open 14-16 daily.
FARMACEVTISK LÆREANSTALTS BIBLIOTEK, København, Ø., founded 1892 for chemists. Contains act. 7.000 volumes of botanical, chemical and pharmaceutical literature, and especially a collection of pharmacopoeia. - Open daily 11.30-13.30.
FORSIKRINGSFORENINGENS BIBLIOTEK, København, K. was established in 1915, and its purpose is to give the staff of the insurance-companies an opportunity for professional an recreational reading. It contains 23.000 volumes on insurance-, mathematics- and political economy and fiction. The library has besides special collections of tariffs, accounts, and statements from domestic and foreign companies. The library has two reading-rooms, one for the professional, and one for the reading welfare. Printed catalogs are published. For use by the public there is an alphabetical as well as a systematic card-catalog and a title-catalog. - Open 4 hours on week-days.
HAANDWERKERBIBLIOTEKET, TEKNOLOGISK INSTITUT, København, V., was founded 1919. Its purpose is to give free admission to all artisans and small manufacturers for the study of the mechanical literature of their trades. It contains abt. 4.000 volumns and abt. 270 periodicals. - Open daily 12-14 and 19-21.30. Winter 9-11.30 Sundays.
HANDELSHØJSKOLENS BIBLIOTEK, København, V. The Library is founded 1922, it contains about 2.000 volumes on Economics, Bookkeeping, Banking and other commercial topics. A special collection on Advertising has just been formed. Classed and alphabetical card catalogues.
INDUSTRIFORENINGENS BIBLIOTEK, København, V., was established in 1838 but after the re-organization in 1913-14 it has developed into a Special-Library for industry. The library aims to act as an information-bureau for industrial, and to a smaller degree, commercial research. For that reason most of the 300 periodicals are indexed and cards sent to firmas, desiring information regarding the different magazine articles. Besides, the library lays stress upon securing knowledge of the very latest products, all important advertisement-sheets are kept, and arranged for use of the readers, patent descriptions and standards from England and Germany are classified and made easily available and up-to-date catalogues from firms are arranged in the reading-room. It also emphazises the need for the most recent literature on labour-questions and industrial management. The number of services are above 40.000, of which 2.000 consist of photographs of periodical-pages taken with the Photostate, procured in 1925. The library is open 12 hours on week-days, and during the summer 10 hours.
KUNSTAKADEMIETS BIBLIOTEK, København, K., founded 1758. It aims at being the main library for the history of art, and contains abt. 30.000 volumes on the development of art, especially in Europe. Of its special collections can be mentioned abt., 10.000 sheets of architectonical plans and measurements. Alphabetical and systematical card catalogues are at the disposal of the public. A systematical card catalogue of articles appearing in periodical is to be found, also a systematical card catalogue of similar literature in other libraries. Open 13-18; May-September 13-16.
KUNSTINDUSTRIMUSEETS BIBLIOTEK, København, K., was founded 1894, it supplements the Kunstindustrimuseum and is the Danish special library for the industrial arts. It contains abt. 13.000 volumes, collections of reproductions (abt. 30.000 photographs), of ornamental engravings and of decorative drawings by Danish artists, Card catalogue of authors and subject catalogue; a printed catalogue of books on furniture (a catalogue of the literature on textiles is being prepared). 70 periodicals circulate among the members of the library's subscription club. - Open every work-day (exept Mondays) 13-16; Tuesdays and Fridays 19-21.
NY CARLSBERG GLYPTOTEKS BIBLIOTEK, København, V., was founded 1925 for the purpose of giving students admission to scientific works in connection with the collections of the Glyptotek. It contains abt. 7.000 volumes on archaeology and modern history of art. Particularly it contains a number, of series of periodicals and publications from different museums; also auction catalogues. Card catalogues of books and periodicals, a systematical catalogue under preparation. - Open daily 10-16; Saturday 10-14.
PATENTDIREKTORATETS BIBLIOTEK, København, V., was founded in 1894. It aims to examine technical inventions and contains abt. 3.000 volumes patentliterature, and abt. 3.000.000 patent-descriptions. For the benefit of the public systematically arranged Danish descriptions are to be found in the readingroom. - Open 9-14.
RIGSDAGENS BIBLIOTEK, København, K., was established in 1850 and contains abt. 40.000 volumes on jurisprudence, social politics, finance, and statistics. Besides, it lays stress on prucuring the Parliamentary-proceedings and political history of the different countries. Several times it has published printed catalogs. The library is rather to be considered as reference-library for the M. P., but is also open to public. During the parliamenthours it is open 10 hours daily.
TEKNISK BIBLIOTEK, GENERALDIREKTORATET FOR POST- OG TELEGRAFVÆSENET, København, V., is a reference library for the staff of the post- and telegraph service, and contains abt. 3.000 volumes on the above subjects. - Open 10-16 daily.

TEKNISK BIBLIOTEK, POLYTEKNISK LÆREANSTALT, København, K., was founded in 1909 by arrangement between the Royal Technical College and the Technical Association. The library has, since 1927, been intented to develop as the State Central Library for technichal-scientific literature; to this end the technical literature of the University Library and that of the Danish, Engineering Association are to be transferred to this library. It contains abt. 20.000 volumes, but will increase to a large extent by the mentioned transfers. Further, 15.000 volumes are to be found in the libraries of r
the laboratories; these volumes can only be lent out in limited numbers. The library contains abt. 200 foreign periodicals and the laboratories contains abt. 100. - Open 10-16 and 19-21.