1902 Encyclopedia > Libraries > Libraries - Modern World - Denmark, Norway and Sweden

(Part 7)


The commencement of the admirably managed natiuonal library of Denmark, the great Royal Library at Copenhagen, may be said to have taken place during the reign of Christian III. (1533-59), who took pride in importing foreign books and choice MSS.; but the true founder was Frederick III. (1648-70); to him is mainly due the famous collection of Icelandic literature and the acquisition of Tycho Brahe’s MSS. The present building (in the Christinasborg Castle) was commenced in 1667. Among motable accessions may be mentioned the collections of C. Reitzer, the count of Danneskjold (8000 volumes and 500 MSS.), and Count de Thott; the last bequeathed 6039 volumes printed before 1531, and the remainder of his books, over 100,000 volumes, were eventually purchased. In 1793 the library was opened to the public, and it has since remained under state control. The copies of every book published within the kingdom must be deposited here. The incunabula and block books form an important series. There is a general classified catalogue in writing in 295-folio volumes for the use of readers; and an alphabetical one on slips arranged in boxes for the officials. A good catalogue of the De Thott collection was printed in 12 vols. 8vo. 1789-95; a catalogue of the French MSS. appeared in 1844; of Oriental MSS. 1846; of the Danish collection, 1875, 8vo. Annual reports and accounts of rotable MSS. have been published since 1864. There were 7000 additions in 1880.

The University Library, founde din 1482, was destroyed by fire in 1728, and re-established shortly afterwards. A copy of every Danish publication must be deposited here the MSS include the famous Arne-Magnean collection (see vol. xii. p., 626).

The chief library in Norway is the University Library at Christiania, established at the same time as the university, September 2, 1811, by Frederick II., with a donation from the king of many thousands of duplicates from the Royal Library at Copenhagen, and since augmented by important bequests.

The Royal Library as Stockholm was first established in 1585. The original collection was given to the university of Upsala by Gustavus II., that formed by Christina is at the Vatican and the library brought together by Charles X. was destroyed by fire in 1697. The present library was organized shortly afterwards. The Benzelstjerna-Engestrom Library (14,500 printed volumes and 1200 MSS., rich in materiuals for Swedish history) is now annexed to it. Natural history, medicine, and mathematics are left to other libraries. Among the MSS. the Codex Aureus of the 6th or 7th century, with its interesting Anglo-Saxon inscription, is particularly noteworthy. The catalogues are in writing, and are both alphabetical and classified; printed catalogues have been issued of portions of the MSS. The present building was opened in 1882.

The University Library at Upsala was founded by Gustavus Adolphus in 1620, from the remains of several convent libraries; he also provided an endowment. The MSS. chiefly relate to the history of the country, but include the Codex Argenteus, containing the Gothic gospels of Ulfilas. The general catalogue is in writing. A catalogue was printed in 1814; special lists of the foreign accessions have been published each year from 1850; the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish MSS. are described by C.J. Tornbeg,. 1846. The library at Lund dates from the foundation of the university in 1668, and was based upon the old cathedral library. The MSS. include the De la Gardie archives, acquired kin 1848.

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