Archival Collections

Our archival collections are not equal to The Royal Archive, which is housed at the National Archives of Denmark.

HM The King’s Reference Library is the home of a number of archival collections coming from members of the Danish Royal House, as well as from the Court and persons connected to it. The most common materials are private letters, ephemera and pamphlets, to which no access is granted without special permission. The collections are organized by provenance.

Belonging to the archives are also extensive collections of scrap books and newspaper cuttings, the access to which is restricted due to preservation concerns and requires a substantiated request to the archivist.

Finally, HM The King’s Reference Library houses a few additional archival collection, of which the polar explorer, writer and artist Eigil Knuth’s is the most substantial. Access to these collections can also be given after substantiated request to the archivist.

Julie Mørk-Hansen
Archivist, HM The King’s Reference Library


About the Reference Library

His Majesty the King’s Reference Library is the Royal Family’s private library, established in 1746 by Frederik V. It contains the Danish monarchs’ collections of books, manuscripts, maps, pictures, photos, sheet music and more. The library is housed in Christian VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg and at Christiansborg Palace. The collections occupy approximately 3 kilometres of shelf space. They are large part composed of the still-growing book collection of around 100,000 volumes stemming from the end of the 1400s until today. Amongst the approximately 12,000 geographical maps in the map collection, which stem from around 1650 to around 1900, are many unique and rare maps, primarily of Europe, including Denmark and the former Danish territories, but also the rest of the world. Our collection of drawings and prints encompasses architectural drawings as well as printed portraits, historical and topographical sheets and – not least – hundreds of drawings by Danish and European artists. The holdings of The Royal Photographs Collection run up to over 50.000 items. In addition we are home to a film collection and a sheet music collection, both of them stemming primarily from Frederik IX, and of a number of archival collections. As part of the royal collections, the Reference Library is home to a rich and various source material regarding the Royal Family and Denmark’s history and culture. The Library often contributes to exhibitions and publications, and is, with certain restrictions, open to the public. The majority of its catalogues are available to search in on the internet. Read more.