The history of An Aerial View of Denmark

The aerial photography collection consists primarily of the archives of a number of aerial photography companies.

Aerial photo of Danish country estate
Photo: Sylvest Jensen

The oldest preserved aerial photographs were taken from a balloon over Copenhagen on 24 August 1890. However, it was not until the invention of the airplane and the photo-technical development during the First World War that aerial photography gained further importance.

The great period of aerial photography stretches from the mid-1930s to around 1960 - although interrupted by World War II. After that, it became more difficult for the aerial photography companies to sell their photos. Most people now had not just one, but several aerial photos of their birthplace, and at the time people began emigrating from the country side. The customer base became smaller and a number of large companies had to close.

Many of these companies' image archives can be found today in Det Kgl. Bibliotek's aerial photo collection.