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 Department of Rare Books, performed in close collaboration with other departments.
The activities include: Acquiring works of book historical importance (see New acquisitions), creating web exhibitions (see Book historical web exhibitions), publishing rare books as digital facsimiles (see Digital facsimiles of rare foreign books or Digital facsimiles of rare Danish books), responding to inquiries from the public and purchasing book historical scholarly literature.
In the Department of Rare Books we cover the older collections of printed books on a broad scale, both Danish and foreign. A number of special collections are directly placed under the Department.
Volume seven of Handbuch deutscher historischer Buchbestände in Europa, edited by Bernhard Fabian (1997-2001), gives a detailed account of the history of the Royal Library. Click here to see the online version.
Handbuch deutscher historischer Buchbestände in Europa forms the third series of Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände. The first two series deal with Germany and Austria. All three series are available on open shelves in Reading Room West.
The volume on Denmark was written by Jakob H. Grønbæk and published in 1998. Since the text was completed long before 1998, some of the facts concerning the organization of The Royal Library are now dated - but the work is a storehouse of information concerning the history of the collections of The Royal Library.