About the Music Collection

Below, you can read more about the Music Collection - historically and today. In the menu, you can read about the staff and national and international projects concerning cataloguing of sheet music and music litterature.

The history of the Music Collection

billedetekst som læses af skærmlæserThe entrance to the old music department in the Holm building.

Since the foundation of The Royal Library, sheet music has been added to the library's collections, but a more systematic development of a music collection is not initiated before the beginning of the 19th century.

The composer C. E. F. Weyse bequeathed his large collection of music by himself and other composer in print and manuscript form, and this became in 1843 one of the foundations of the music collection.

The Music Department was not established as an independent division until 1878. At that time the department aquired its collections partly through donations, partly through af rather systematic purchase of contemporary sheet music. The printing of music in Denmark was only initiated to a larger extent from the middle of the 18th century, and the department atttemptet via antiquarian purchases to collect the music from the previous 100 years. Larger series for study use were also purchased, mostly collected works of composers.

In 1902 the legal deposit law was revised to include sheet music. With lather revisions also music recordings, videos, internet material (through the Netarchive) etc. were included, such that the musical cultural heritage today is very broadly documented by The Royal Library in collaboration whith Denmark's other National Library, The State Library in Aarhus.

The Music Department was abandoned as an independent organisational division in 2013 and is today along with other of The Royal Library's collections part of the National Collections Department. The obligations to collection, preservation, research and dissemenation of music is, however, still attended to by the staff of the collection.