Danish Archives FAQ

Danish archives exist in 6 main levels

(1) National Archive - Rigsarkivet - Statens Arkiver

The Crown, the Government, Ministeries, Administration, Armed Forces, National Courts
Sitemap - Danish State Archives
the absolute top source for Danish genealogy
but the very best stuff is in mss and old handwriting and not filmed
Rigsarkivet - the Danish National Archives (RA) in Copenhagen

ONLINE again DAISY Dansk Arkivalieinformationssystem

about DAISY, an electronic catalogue
equivalent to the Catalogue (formerly PROCAT)
at National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom
or ARC at NARA, the US National Archives & Records Administration.

Erhvervsarkivet - The Danish National Business Archives in Aarhus
Dansk Data Arkiv - The Danish Data Archives (DDA) in Odense

(2) the four Provincial Archives (Landsarkiver)

regional or provincial and county or town government, courts and church books
archive locations on a clickable map

Regional Archives Landsarkiverne for
Sjælland,Lolland-Falster og
Bornholm - (LAK) in Copenhagen
- The Provincial archives - of Zealand,
Lolland-Falster & Bornholm
Fyn - of Funen (LAO) in Odense
Sønderjylland - for Southern Jutland
(LAA) in Aabenraa
- of Northern Jutland (LAV) in Viborg

Ordering copies and research

Filmningscentret - The State Archives Filming Centre takes care of all safety filming and dispersal of copies throughout all the Danish archives. If you want to buy copies of microfilm and microfiches, the order must be sent to The Filming Centre, no matter where the original documents are kept. The Filming Centre is housed in Viborg at the Provincial Archives of Northern Jutland.
- Catalogues, sales and services

Cost of hiring researchers - prices for copying and scanning

(3) local archives

The Danish Federation of Local archives 
listed by county with a clickable map
links to Amtskredsenes adresser the addresses of the county associations of local archives.

and they go by many names
Lokalhistoriske Arkiv = local history archive
Lokalarkivet = Lokalarkiv -the< neuter gender
Byarkivet Byarkiv = Town achive
Stadsarkiv = Town (council) archive
købstad = MARKET town with royal charter ie a borough
Sogns Lokalhistorie = Parish's local history
Egnsmuseum = district('s) museum
Lokalhistorisk Forening = Local History society
Hjemstavnsforening = association of people from a particular home town or area

BTW - Copenhagen Stadsarkiv
is a very substantial archive in the town hall,
including details of many people who moved to Copenhagen but were born elsewhere.
and the LAUG or Guild records - equivalent to Apprentice Rolls

Each town has a folkeregister, or Civil Registrar's Office,
maintaining lists of residents with present and old addresses back to about 1925,
and, subject to privacy rules, searches can be made on payment of a fee.
Google Search: folkeregister english site:dk

Google Search: Civil Registration Number (CPR Number) Google Search: Visa, Citizenship Civil Registration Number (CPR Number)

(4) private archives

some of which may be deposited above or at major libraries. 
Danmarks Nationale Privatarkivdatabase

The Danish Association of Family Farms
at the National Agricultural Museum , Gl. Estrup

(5) printed books, newspapers maps photographs postcards mss


the national collection (and deposits) equal to UK the British Library
or in USA the Library of Congress

(6) lending and reference libraries

The union catalogue http://bibliotek.dk/

============== church records ===============

Family History Library System

is a very large collection founded in 1894,
located in USA at 35 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UTAH
and copies are available to order in the branch libraries or FHC all over the world
Family History Library Catalog
just use PLACE search with DANISH spelling.
Localities in Denmark are filed in the order of the Danish alphabet,
with Æ æ = Ae ae , Ø ø = Oe oe, Å å = Aa aa
filed at the end of the alphabet.

Spellings of Danish localities are taken from the gazetteer,Danmark,
by J. P. Trap,
948.9 E2t. (their Call Number) available on fiche.
Use German spellings as well near the border in Jutland

Research Guidance v2.0 Denmark Events and Time Periods;
Birth Marriage Death
1467-1571 1572-1770 1771-1873 1874-Present

The Family History Library in UTAH has microfilm copies of
most of the old Danish church records before about 1920.
There is no fee for using these microfilms in person.

Microfilm and microfiche copies of church records
are also kept at the National Archive (Rigsarkivet) in Copenhagen
and at the provincial archives (Landsarkiver).
The original church records prior to about 1950 are found
in the provincial archives with many on open shelves.


The Danish church, which is an established or State Church,
is responsible for civil registration of births, deaths and marriages.
see:- film, fiche and provincial archives

Recent Church books are found in the local parish offices kirkekontor
fiche of parish registers, and census up to 1921,
Mikrokort af kirkebøger og folketællinger, may be puchased from
Statens Arkiver - Sales and Service: "Statens Arkivers Filmningscenter"
The kirkekontor still functions as the organ of civil registration,
and they are now recording the data electronically.

Copies of the old church books are now deposited in the provincial archives

============== On line databases ==============

Transcriptions - these county maps show which census records are being transcribed,
and which have been completed for the source transcription project.
(In cooperation with DDA Dansk Data Arkiv and the DIS Danmark Databehandling i Slægtsforskning)

Census and parish register images

In Autumn 2002 Statens Arkivers Filmningscenter was funded by Kulturministeriet
to carry out this project.
Efter de foreløbige beregninger vil scanningen af de cirka 120.000 mikrokort vare fire år,
It is estimated that scanning 120 000 fiche will take about 4 years.

The format is TIFF (TIFF FAX GRP 4 - black and white)
and I use this viewer - AlternaTIFF
which is a web browser add-on (ActiveX control or plug-in)
Kirkebøger - church books or parish registers, will include ALL up to 1892
- see drop down menu for availability, expected completion in 2005

Folketælling - census 1787 1801 1840 1855 and 1860

Please note, only the census folketællinger, that were under the Danish Crown kongedømmet,
are being made available online.





1801 Online 1860












The other census folketællinger are not part of this project.

Note: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows XP

are used for testing by Statens Arkiver

More links from Databehandling I Slægtsforskning
Computers in Genealogy Society of Denmark
DIS-Danmark - Danish Web addresses
but their home page in English is still missing.

Ancestry Message Boards [Danish Counties ] but also search for surnames.

DENMARK (D562) at ROOTSWEB under revision - so watch this space.

RootsWeb: Genealogy Mailing Lists: Denmark : DENMARK
an excellent list with many knowledgable and helpful people,
and a site of their own where you can upload images of archives
- for translation help for example.

Google Search: nordic genealogy Genealogy in the Scandinavian countries.

Google Search: denmark genealogy usenet groups

Google Search: danmark genealogi usenet groups mostly in Danish but OK to post in English.

The FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service web site

has a strong Danish content because:-
"Denmark supplied more immigrants to Utah in the nineteenth century
than any other country except Great Britain.
Most of these Danes--nearly 17,000--were converts to the LDS Church,
heeding an urgent millennialistic call to gather to 'Zion.' "
from Utah History Encyclopedia

Archives and Genealogy in other Scandinavian countries

FINLAND : Arkistolaitos

Norwegian National Archives


National Archives of Iceland

Faeroe Islands Genealogy

Scandinavian Roots - American Lives - Archives and Institutions
"Immigrants from the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden."

Google Search: arkivskabere
Google Search: arkivalier
Google Search: arkivverket

Tiden Project: "The first historical 'Digital Newspaper Library' in the world,
which provides fulltext search to newspapers in Gothic script
is a result of the TIDEN- The Nordic Digital Newspaper Project
and the Finnish part of it, AURORA.
These projects will result in The Nordic Digital Newspaper Library
with Nordic newspapers from 1640-1860,
open to the public in autumn in 2001."

Digitalarkivet National Archives of Norway: transcribed sources

============== where to begin ==============

Research Guidance for Denmark
This outline introduces you to the records you can use to discover your Danish ancestors.
It describes the content, use, and availability of major genealogical records.

Use this outline to set meaningful goals and to select the records that will help you
achieve your research goals.

Danish BIRTH DEATH MARRIAGE Events and Time Periods

Danish words with their English translations.

And then you should consider starting with local archives in Denmark (3) above.
They will probably have copies of census and parish registers
and will be very interested in news from USA and abroad.

I have had much success with local archives, where families have deposited papers and photographs,
and there are extensive collections of newspaper cuttings and knowledge of oral histories.

Some do not even have email, but they are really interested in hearing
about the children of their parish abroad.

So do write to them in Denmark

Hugh W

dnkcen Site Map
updated January 19 2004 Hugh Watkins