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Beyond the Microfilm: Denmark’s Archives, Libraries, and Historical Societies

If you find that you are in need of information beyond what the Family History Library has to offer for Denmark, you may want to turn to other resources.

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Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Mindy Lunt
Word Count: 460 (approx.)
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Most of Denmark's records which genealogists would find useful have been microfilmed and are available on about 100,000 microfilm reels at the Family History Library (FHL) and Family History Centers throughout the world. If you find, however, that you are in need of information beyond what that library has to offer, you may want to turn to these other resources in Denmark.

If you are in search of church records that did not get filmed, you may want to search in one of the four regional archives located in Denmark depending on the county in which you are working:

  • Bornholm, Frederiksborg, Holbæk, Maribo, København (Copenhagen), Præstø, Sorø, and København City:
    Landsarkivet for Sjælland
    http://www.sa.dk/lak/default.htm
  • Odense and Svendborg:
    Landsarkivet for Fyn
    http://www.sa.dk/lao/default.htm
  • Ålborg, Århus, Hjørring, Randers, Ribe, Ringkøbing, Skanderborg, Thisted, Viborg, and Vejle:
    Landsarkivet for Nørrejylland
    http://www.sa.dk/lav/default.htm
  • Åbenrå, Sønderborg, Haderslev, and Tønder:
    Landsarkivet for Sønderjylland
    http://www.sa.dk/laa/default.htm

The holdings in these archives include those church records that are from fifty to one hundred years old, so if a record you are seeking is more recent, you will need to consult the parish in which your ancestor resided. An address you can use to contact the parish priest is:

Kordegns kontor
(Name of the parish) Sogn
(Name of the parish)
Denmark

Although most of what is found in the National Archives of Denmark (Rigsarkivet) has been microfilmed and can be found in the Family History Library and major archives and libraries, if you need to inquire about records on Danish history, culture, and people, you will want to see what the National Archives has to offer. These holdings include the emigration and census records for the country. Their website is http://www.sa.dk/ra/default.htm.

Other entities in Denmark also hold cultural, literary, historical, and other types of records that you might find worth looking into to learn more about a region. Some places you might was to go for that include large libraries in the specific region you are researching,  as they are the most likely to collect materials from their specific region. Some of these places include the Royal Library of Denmark (Kongelige Bibliotek – much like the Library of Congress in the United States); the University Library in København (Universitetsbiblioteket), the Frederiksberg Community Library (Frederiksberg Kommunebibliotek); and The Central Library (Centralbiblioteket) located in Rønne on the island of Bornholm.

Before visiting an archive or library, it is always wise to check ahead with the institution to make sure they have the record you seek. You will also want to find out what the business hours are, if there are any restrictions on the materials you need, and the special collections they might have at their facility. Check with local historical societies, too. They will probably have collections that could prove useful to you as well. Doing these things before you go will make your trip much more successful and you may even find some unexpected information.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2005.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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