Computer screen at Royal Danish Library. The find material page is visited.

Photo: Thomas Søndergaard

New digital access to Danish drama

New agreement gives digital access to Danish drama in manuscript form.

Royal Danish Library has negotiated an agreement in place with Danske Dramatikere via Copydan Tekst & Node, which gives access to Danish drama in manuscript form. This means that the plays that have played on Danish stages, but which have not been published, will now be digitised and made available online to everyone in Denmark via the library.

Groundbreaking agreement makes Danish theatre available digitally throughout Denmark

In Denmark, there is not a strong publishing tradition for drama, unlike in England and Germany. Therefore, a large part of the drama that has been played on the Danish stages is found exclusively in the library's theatre collection. There are 30,000 plays in manuscript form in the collection. The works have previously only been available by physical attendance at the research reading room in the Black Diamond in Copenhagen.

"The previous conditions of access to the manuscripts resulted in the fact that it was only possible to read a large part of Danish novels by attending in person at a specific time and place. The limited access has clearly affected the knowledge of Danish drama outside a narrow circle, something we now hope to amend. Because drama is for everyone. And the library has manuscripts of everything from children's and young people's drama to major stage tragedies and comedies in the collection," says Anna Lawaetz, responsible for the library's theatre collection.

The agreement is part of the library's strategy to promote open and equal access to cultural heritage for everyone throughout Denmark.

Initially, the digitisation of approximately 800 works is financed by a special pool. After that, additional funds must be raised for digitisation.

Spot on the collection's manuscripts

In order to make it easy to find an entrance to reading plays, a number of playwrights and theatre researchers in collaboration with the library have selected their own favorites from among the digitised plays, as an amuse-bouche to the great experiences in the collection.


  • The new access makes it possible to read drama.
    In case of performance, permission must be obtained from the rights holders.
    Musical dramas and foreign dramas with active rights are not part of the agreement.
  • In the agreement, special access is secured for researchers who wish to be provided with datasets of drama.
  • The agreement does not include radio and TV drama.
  • The agreement has been approved by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Find out more about the theatre collection