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Arkiv.dk: Database with Digitized Photos

Lene Dræby Kottal
Arkiv.dk: Database with Digitized Photos

The Danish National Archives do not hold all kinds of records, but luckily many Danish parishes or towns have a local history archive. More than five-hundred Danish local history and town archives have started digitizing their holdings and presenting them to the public free of charge at the website Arkiv.dk. It is a goldmine for genealogists and the site has an English version, so there is no excuse to not try it out.

The website shows material which has been cataloged by the local archives. The archivists have gone above and beyond to describe the material as accurately as possible, so you can search for place names, farm names and personal names; you can use wildcards; and you can filter the results per time period, archive, place, or record type.

The descriptions of the photos are in Danish, because they are pulled from the catalog of holdings at the archive. Maybe Google Translate can assist you, if you see a familiar name. The photo at the top of this post shows Karen Christensdatter and it has been cataloged with details about her birth and marriages:1

Karen Christensdatter was born 10.6.1828 at Østergård in Skærlund. She was married on 28.3.1853 to Søren Jensen, Uhre. Søren died 30.1.1869 and Karen married Jørgen Lund Rauff 16.12.1870. He was born 22.2.1847 to Ane Marie and Chr. Hoegtemann Rauff, who built Uhre Mill. In 1878 they sold the farm and built Kathrinelund near Gydevej. They had a daughter Sørine Jensine Rauff. Karen died 24.10.1897.

Another example of a photo from the Arkiv.dk database is the one below, which the archive has described as a portrait of Hans Christian Linkhusen, born 7.11.1878 in Dannemare.2 A search for "Linkhusen Dannemare" gives several results and not only photos, because the database also shows the records (Arkivalier) and news paper articles (Aviser og artikler) etc., which have been cataloged by the local archives.

Hans Christian Linkhusen from Dannemare

Some photo descriptions give information about real property of the individuals or their relatives. The photo below is a portrait of Christian Thygesen, owner of the farm Hesselballegaard in Kolding. Per the description of the photo, his oldest son, I. C. Thygesen owned the farm Dalbygaard from 1 November 1894 to 1 March 1927.3

Christian Thygesen, owner of Hesselgaard in Kolding

I realize that this post is image-heavy already, but I want to give one last example. Below are portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Shutt from Kalundborg.4 The two photos are filed under the same description. If you see an image icon to the bottom right of a photo, this means that there is more than one photo. To be able to switch between the photos, simply click the icon.

Mr and Mrs Shutt from Kalundborg

Thanks to all the contributing local archives, you have an abundance of photos with detailed descriptions available free of charge, however, you must ask for permission before using a photo from this database. When asking for this permission, you can ask if the archive has more information about the individuals, but beware that most personnel at the local history archives are volunteers, so it may take a while before they respond.

Happy hunting!


Source references:

  1. Karen Christensdatter photograph, about 1875-1880; digital image, Arkiv.dk (https://arkiv.dk/en/vis/2703027 : accessed 31 March 2019); original held by Lokalhistorisk Arkiv, Brande, Denmark. Permission to post the photo at this website was given by Ikast-Brande Bibliotek.
  2. Hans Christian Linkhusen photograph, about 1890-1900; digital image, Arkiv.dk (https://arkiv.dk/en/vis/627594 : accessed 31 March 2019); original held by Rudbjerg lokalhistoriske Arkiv, Denmark. Permission to post the photo at this website was given by Rudbjerg lokalhistoriske Arkiv.
  3. Christian Thygesen photograph, about 1885; digital image, Arkiv.dk (https://arkiv.dk/en/vis/4676249 : accessed 31 March 2019); original held by Kolding Stadsarkiv, Kolding, Denmark. Permission to post the photo at this website was given by Kolding Stadsarkiv.
  4. Fru Shutt and Blikkenslager Shutt photographs, 22 August 1879; Arkiv.dk (https://arkiv.dk/en/vis/8726 : accessed 31 March 2019); original held by Kalundborg Lokalarkiv, Kalundborg, Denmark. Permission to post the photo at this website was given by Kalundborg Lokalarkiv.