Rare Books

The Royal Library is Denmark's Book Museum holding invaluable book historical collections, Danish as well as foreign. Maintaining and developing these collections, supporting scholarly research into them, and providing information about them to the public – these are principal duties of the Rare Book Section, performed in close collaboration with other departments.

Read more about Danish Collections (The National Collections) and Special Collections


A number of special collections are directly placed under the Rare Book Section (read more here).

The Incunabula Collection: The Royal Library owns c. 4,500 incunabula, i.e. books printed before 1501.

The Postincunabula Collection contains foreign books printed 1501-1530. It comprises c. 6,500 volumes.

The Parchment Collection consists of foreign books printed on the luxurious material parchment, in total c. 125 volumes.

Book Historical Study Collection – foreign books which regardless of their contents demonstrate special book historical characteristics, such as bindings, printing, illustrations, etc. 

Also placed under the Rare Book Section is a large part of foreign books from the Old Collection, the so-called S-77-Collection. It consists of books which are especially valuable and/or rare or of book historical interest in other ways.

Finally the Rare Book Section also includes the Library's collection of Danish bookbindings.