About us and our service

Royal Danish Library provides a special service for employees at the central administration in Denmark. That covers ministries, departments, agencies, councils and boards.

Overview image of interior Den Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen

Photo: Laura Stamer

Specialised service for employees at the central administration in Denmark

The Royal Danish Library offers employees at ministries, departments, agencies, directorates, councils and boards a specialised and professional library service.

The service is reserved for employees of public institutions, but is not subject to payment. However, a fee must be paid in connection with compensation cases. You can read more about compensation cases in our regulations.

It is not possible for anyone other than public servants to borrow and reserve materials through this service, but there is free access to the Central Administrative Reading Room, and everyone can thus use the collection on site and scan extracts for their own use.

Core services

Our service aims to support quality and efficiency in central administration by providing relevant materials, targeted service and specialist knowledge.

Inquiries are answered quickly, and we cover all subject areas, all published document types, and all parts of the country. During office hours, you can expect to receive a response within one hour.

As a registered user from the central administration, you have remote access to large amounts of research and special databases.

If you come across specific articles or e-books, which you do not have access to, you can order the material by contacting us.

You will also have remote access to carefully selected databases and journals.

Inquiries are answered by trained information specialists, possibly with the use of subject specialists. The collection and staff are located at The Black Diamond, Copenhagen. We are happy to give library introductions or provide professional library guidance at the authorities' addresses.

One of our central tasks is to collect, register, and ensure permanent access to digital publications from the central administration. You can find the publications when you search the library's database.

Once the publication is registered in the database, there will be access to the publications even if the authority deletes or moves them to a different place on their website.

Royal Danish Library offers space for contemplation. In the central administrative reading room in The Black Diamond, you will find access to the physical collection.

The collection is tailored so it meets the wishes and needs of the central administration.

There is direct access to all the printed materials, including the collection of laws, the law-preparatory documents from 1849 onwards and associated handbooks.

The periodical collection consists primarily of Danish periodicals within law, management and administration.

The book collection focuses on topics such as administration, law, state law, EU law, international law, economics, public management as well as general and current non-fiction literature describing society.

The bright rooms and quiet surroundings allow for concentration and immersion.

Lunch and coffee can be bought at the café.

Development history

Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Senior Citizens' library

The current library service has its roots back to 1924. At that time, the library was affiliated with the Ministry of Social Affairs, and it was established in connection with the royal resolution of 23 April 1924 and the reorganisation of the Danish ministries' work areas. On 8 July 1940, the library was expanded to include the Ministry of Labour's library.


The core of the central administration's libraries

In its 7th report, appendix 2, from 1950, the Administrative Commission recommends that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour's Library, as the largest of the ministerial libraries, become the core of a joint arrangement of the central administration's libraries.


An administrative collection

In 1961 an administrative collection was established in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour's Library under the name The Administrative Library.

During 1965-67 a long series of negotiations were conducted with the national librarian and the then administrative council about the central administration's library service. The discussion centres on whether each individual ministry should have its own library, or whether one should create one central ministerial library.


A ministerial library

The negotiations end with approximately half of the ministries expressing satisfaction with the existing library conditions and regard the Library of the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs as their natural main library. This meant that in the following years the library provided advice and guidance to a large number of already existing ministerial libraries and acted as a library for all ministries.


Premises on Slotsholmsgade

Until 1967 the library was housed at Slotsholmsgade 10, Copenhagen, but was offered premises in the new ministerial building at Slotholmsgade 12.

In 1973 the library was asked to formulate a library policy for the library for "the Social Ministries", which from 1 January 1974 had its own library premises and librarians.

The Administrative Library (DAB)

In 1976 it was decided that the library should be preserved as a common library for the entire central administration, and in connection with this an investigation was launched into the use of the library and the need for an expanded documentation service. Per 1 January 1979 The Library of the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs thus became The Administrative Library (abbreviated DAB in Danish) and transferred administratively to the Department of Administration, and the decision is mentioned in the Ministry of Finance's circular of 31 January 1979.

In 1989 the library was opened to the public, although under special conditions. The library had to first and foremost meet the needs of the central government.


Independent institution

The Administrative Library was transferred from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Research with Bek 651 of 1995, and after a period of uncertainty about the library's future, The Administrative Library was given the status of an independent institution from 1 January 1998 and now operated under its own contract.


Department transfers

The library's service and target group remained generally the same, but responsibility was transferred several times. See e.g. "circular 12 of 2004" where The Administrative Library is an institution under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Development or "circular 66 of 2012" where the library is a state institution under the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Higher Education and later under the Board of Higher Education under Education - and the Ministry of Research.


The service is handled by Royal Danish Library

Since January 2017 Royal Danish Library continues the service and because of this it now belongs to the Ministry of Culture.