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.
His Majesty the King’s Reference Library is open to visit by appointment. Since it is a reference library, books, maps, and other materials may not be borrowed, but only viewed on site. As a general rule, only materials which cannot be viewed in other Danish libraries are made available. Enquiries specifying what you wish to see and to what purpose should be addressed to email@example.com, after which an appointment can be made.
The King’s Reference Library contains many rare and magnificent books. Even though the very impressive stock the Reference Library contained in the 18th century was in large part lost during the first fire at Christiansborg Palace in 1794, many antiquarian and bibliophile treasures have since been added, both during the reestablishment of the Reference Library at the beginning of the 19th century, and later.