The Chess Book of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1616/1617

Duke Augustus was one of the most well-read and educated European rulers of his time. The famous Bibliotheca Augusta in Wolffenbüttel is named after him. In his youth he wrote the first German language book on chess, Das Schach- oder König-Spiel. it was published under the pseudonym Gustavus Selenus, the first part of which is a rearrangement of the letters in Augustus, while the second derives from Selene = Luna and forms an allusion to Lüneburg. The book is a great rarity today, not least in the apparently complete condition in which it is found here.



The King’s Reference Library affords many possibilities for research into a large number of fields and has over the years formed the basis of a many academic publications. The library includes unique collections within the field of history – in particular the history of the Danish Royal Family – genealogy, the history of architecture and art, literary history, musicology, heraldry, cartography, and the history of books and bookbinding. It is furthermore well stocked with secondary literature about all these subjects. The Reference Library has amongst other things collaborated on the following publications: Erik Pontoppidan, The Danish Atlas, Tomus I-VI, facsimile published by Rosenkilde &Bagger, Copenhagen 1969. Hilfeling’s Scanian Drawings, facsimile with commentary published by the Danish-Scanian Society, Copenhagen 1977. Samples of Greenlandic Drawing and Printing 1857-61 by Hinrich Rink, facsimile with foreword by Bodil Kaalund, Forum, Copenhagen 1980. Claus Røllum-Larsen, Frederik IX and Music: Musicological Studies in the Danish Royal Family, published by Her Majesty the Queen’s Reference Library and Poul Kristiensens Forlag, Copenhagen 1990. Norwegian Journeys Anno 1733: Description of King Christian VI and Queen Sophie Magdalene’s Journey to Norway, 12 May to 23 September, facsimile published by Her Majesty the Queen’s Reference Library and Poul Kristiensens Forlag, Copenhagen 1992. Selected literature about the Reference Library’s history and collections: Klaus Kjølsen, Hendes Majestæt Dronningens Håndbibliotek 1746-1996. / Her Majesty The Queen’s Reference Library. Abridged version by Christian Gottlieb, Odense Universitetsforlag 1997. H.P. Rohde, Christian X’s Library, in The Leitmotif: Studies in the History of Books, Poul Kristensens Forlag, Herning 1985. C. Rise Hansen, The Private Library of Her Majesty the Queen – Hendes Majestæt  Dronningens Håndbibliotek, in: Sources of the History of North Africa, Asia and Oceania in Denmark, K. G. Saur Verlag, München – New York – London – Paris & The Danish National Archives, 1980, s. 17-46. H. P. Clausen, A Royal Gift: P. C. Klæstrup’s Drawings in the Queen’s Reference Library, Convivium, Yearbook for Humanities, Art and Research 1979, Copenhagen 1979, pp. 20-43. Holger Ehrencron-Müller, His Majesty the King of Denmark’s Library, Nordic Periodical for Books and Libraries IX, 1922, pp. 168-184.

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.