The National Library

The Black Diamond by night

At The National Library of Denmark you will find Danish works of all kinds - not just printed materials, books, serials, maps, music and ephemera - but also unpublished material such as manuscripts and photographs.  And, in addition, the library presents an increasing number of online publications. National collections of Oriental and Judaic materials are also part of the national library.


 Does the Royal Library have what I am looking for? 

The National Library has for centuries via legal deposit received everything printed and published in Denmark. On the whole, if a Danish book, newspaper or journal exists, it is found in the Royal Library. Start with a search in, an online catalogue that covers all libraries in Denmark. If you do not find what you are looking for there, continue your search in REX, the Royal Library's online catalogue. Don't give up if this fails to produce a result,  there is still hope. Certain types of printed matter are organized in other ways, for example ephemera, and thus not catalogued. You can always send an email with a description, and we will check if we have what you are searching for.

The Royal Library holds Denmark's main collections of maps, music, manuscripts, letters and archival materials from authors and cultural personalities. For these materials, start your search in REX.  The Royal Library also holds 18 million photographs. In addition, the Royal Library has Denmark's major collections of Orientalia and Judaica. Each of these special types of materials can be used at a centre in the Black Diamond (our main building in Copenhagen), where you are welcome to come and ask for help. Opening hours of the Centres and email addresses


How do I use the Royal Library's materials?

As a general rule, the materials in the National Library do not circulate. They must be preserved for future generations and therefore may only be used in the reading rooms. Some items can be borrowed to the reading rooms of other libraries, but the majority must be used in the reading rooms of the Black Diamond. You can order copies of most items. Due to special requirements of copyright, there are limits on photocopying of printed music.

It is easiest to start in and check if you can find what you are looking for there. Then it can be used via your local library.

As the National Library we are open to all. Before you can use the collections, you must get a library card. You can do this online prior to a visit and order the items you need in REX, so that the materials are waiting for you when you arrive. Books and journals must be used in the large research reading room, Reading Room West. Newspapers are only available as microfilm in Reading Room East. Maps, printed music, manuscripts, letters and archival materials, pictures, Orientalia and Judaica must be used at the centres. Remember that if you order a copy, we do the work and send the copy directly to you. The process of digitizing our collections already provides direct access via the net to many works.



For students and researchers

The National Library holds Denmark's largest and most extensive collections of books, newspapers, journals, ephemera, maps, printed music, manuscripts, letters and archival materials and pictures.

The collections are an inexhaustable source for topics of scholarly investigation. The Royal Library has specially developed its services for students and researchers  In Reading Room West and the centres there is peace and quiet for concentration.

The library's subject specialists assist researchers and students in the completion of their projects. The subject specialists are available to provide assistance in the planning stages of a project.  A reader's desk can be reserved if a long-term project is underway. As a special service, staff at the institutes of the University of Copenhagen can borrow books otherwise limited to use in the reading rooms for use in their offices.  Loans are made via the institute user arrangement.