Early European Books

Danish printed books before 1601

All Danish books printed before 1601 in the holdings of The Royal Library are now online available from all Danish IP-adresses. This is made possible as a result of the first mass digitization project in a cooperation between The Royal Library and the publishing company ProQuest.

Early European Books provides scholars with new ways of accessing and exploring the printed record of early modern Europe, drawing together a diverse array of printed sources from the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. Developed and produced in close collaboration with scholars, rare books librarians, bibliographers, and other experts from the library world, this new resource opens the door to some of the world's most significant collections of early printed books.

This collection offers a comprehensive survey of the Royal Library's holdings of items listed in Lauritz Nielsen's Dansk Bibliografi 1482–1600 and its supplement (1919–1996). All of the Royal Library's Danish and Icelandic imprints produced in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries fall within its scope, from the earliest works printed in Denmark – Breviarium Ottoniense (Odense Breviary) and Guillaume Caoursin's De obsidione et bello Rhodiano ('On the siege and war of Rhodes'), both printed in 1482.  

Although the collection consists substantially of material printed before 1601, the Royal Library's holdings of seventeenth-century editions of works by Tycho Brahe and his follower Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) have also been included. In total the Royal Library's collection of pre-1601 printed books consists of more than 2,600 items, comprising around 500,000 pages and occupying about fifty metres of linear shelving.