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Preserving cultural heritage

One of the important tasks performed by the State and University Library as a national library involves collecting, storing and disseminating central parts of Danish cultural heritage. The concept of ‘cultural heritage’ covers many things – from the Jelling Stone to paintings and books – and is often perceived as involving objects ‘from the old days’.

But our cultural heritage also includes contemporary cultural products: today’s newspaper, a radio programme being transmitted right now, or an entry in a blog that is being posted on the internet as we speak. As a legal deposit library, the job of the State and University Library is to collect these expressions of contemporary culture and store and preserve them for the future.

The Danish Act on Legal Deposits (in Danish only), determines our task to preserve - apart from books - Danish newspapers, audiovisual media and internet material. So the library’s central cultural heritage collections comprise Denmark’s largest collection of newspapers in the State Newspaper Collection and the State Media Collection, which includes an extensive archive of radio/television and advertising films as well as an almost complete collection of gramophone records, tapes and CDs published in Denmark since the year 1900. There is also the Netarchive, covering internet content published since 2005 and produced by Danes our adressed to a Danish audience.