Early European Books from the Eastern and South Eastern Europe until the year 1700

- in the collections of the Royal Library

This website presents links to digitised versions of older books from the Eastern and South Eastern Europe printed until 1700.

Click here for Armenian books
Click here for Slovenian books 
Click here for Lithuanian books 
Click here for Latvian books
Click here for Estonian books

The art of book printing was invented around 1450. It quickly spread to a number of countries bordering to Germany, whereas other European countries didn't begin printing their own books until much later. Before 1700 books written in smaller European languages may be printed in, e.g., Italy or The Netherlands.



Because of Denmark's many international relations, political as well as cultural, the Royal Library holds a quite important collection of foreign books from before 1700 that, at the time, were neither collected locally nor systematically preserved, because they date back to a period before the birth of a proper notion of nationality. Early on, Danish kings and noblemen began collecting books as a result of purchases, gifts, exchanges or war booty.

Among this material are books printed in areas that, at the time, weren't perceived as proper states, or they may be printed in languages that didn't correspond to a modern perception of a state. This is especially true in the case of the Royal Library's collections of very old books from the Eastern and South Eastern European areas.


Through this website the Royal Library seeks to stimulate and support the increasing interest for the development of European culture, knowledge and the history of learning throughout the first centuries after the invention of the art of book printing by making these collections accessible internationally. This initiative should be seen as a contribution to the international project Early European Books that follows the history of book printing in Europe from the beginning and up until 1700, including pictures produced in facsimile in full colour and high solution of rare and printed sources difficult to access.

The collection of links will be continually updated. The digitisations will be presented in PDF-formats.

Further Information

Books included on this site may be difficult to track as they may be printed in Latin, for instance, and/or in a completely different part of Europe. Therefore, we very much welcome information about books from the collections of the Royal Library that users may find relevant for this site.