The Royal Library

Collections and projects

Performing arts

Drama texts
The Drama Collection holds more or less the complete collections of theatre manuscripts from the repertoire of the larger private theatres in Copenhagen, including the Casino Theatre (1848–1937), Folketeatret (The People’s Theatre) (1857–), Dagmar Theatre (1883–1937), Nørrebro Theatre (1887–), Det Ny Teater (The New Theatre) (1906–) and Betty Nansen Theatre (1917–), in addition to the Copenhagen Summer Revues (1877–1930s) and the more recent repertoire of The Royal Theatre. Furthermore, larger collections from the Danish Writers’ Guild’s archive and from Danish theatre publishers as well as collectors are also part of The Drama Collection.
The Drama Collection also holds posthumous collections (including scrapbooks and AV material) from prominent actors and stage directors.
Since the mid-1960s, the library has gathered systematically works from all major Danish theatres, including Radio and TV; thus, almost 50 theatres submit regularly their repertoire to The Drama Collection.

Ballet and modern dance
In 2015, the, which is a large archive of all dancers and choreographers in modern dance in Denmark, was transferred from Dansehallerne to The Drama Collection. It includes correspondences, press clippings, working papers, performance materials, photos and footage in addition to the archive of the renowned ballet critic Henrik Lundgren. The collection has a website where you may read more about the individual artists:
In addition, the library regularly receives private archives of prominent artists in classical ballet. For a complete list, see ‘Guide to The Drama Collection’.
A small collection of dance descriptions, located in the Music Department, is available online: digitized collections of older Danish dance instructions from the 1700s and 1800s.

Opera is located in the Music Collection, which primarily collects sheet music.

The Drama Collection has received several large circus collections, primarily the Deputy City Librarian Carl P. Kraft’s Collection, which includes, among other items, programmes, press clippings, magazines, audio and video tapes, and scrapbooks. The library has also received the circus artist Oscar Knudsen Collection. These two collections cover virtually everything on circus in Denmark and partly in neighbouring countries.
Search ‘Carl Peter Krafts Samling’ in REX.

Model Theatre
The Drama Collection holds a complete collection of Danish model theatres; that is, from the very first ones, which came to Denmark from Germany in the early 1800s, to models of the present day. The collection contains all of Alfred Jacobsen’s sheets, the cartoonist Oscar Knudsen’s decorations, as well as a large collection of important foreign model theatres, mainly German. The material has not yet been catalogued but an internal index of items may be consulted at the Drama Collection.


  • Dance
  • Opera
  • Theatre

The National Danish Drama Collection

The primary responsibilities of The Drama Collection are:

  • To collect and preserve both the archives of plays (unpublished or in manuscript), parts, prompters’ books, stage managers’ records, performance materials from Danish theatres and private archives of prominent Danish performing artists.<\li>
  • To purchase new theatre literature published in the major languages and make them available for theatre directors, dramaturges, directors, actors, students at the acting schools and universities, researchers and others with a general interest in theatre.<\li>
  • To respond to subject enquiries received from all categories of users.<\li>

The collections holds over 40,000 theatre texts in manuscript (mostly by Danish playwrights or in Danish translation) and c. 20,000 printed theatre texts (mostly foreign). 85% of these can be searched in REX:
(in ‘Advanced Search’, choose ‘Plays’ in the menu ‘Material Type’).

In addition, the collections also include an increasing number of archives from theatres, both active and defunct, with performance material, press clippings, administration papers, correspondence, financial records etc. In REX, choose ‘Drama Collection’ in the menu ‘Institutions and Collections’.

A Guide til Dramatisk Biblioteks Samlinger provides detailed information to both the catalogued and as yet un-catalogued parts of The Drama Collection. The guide is updated continuously.


  • Dance
  • Opera
  • Theatre