De danska böckernas långa väg till Helsingfors
Fund og Forskning i Det Kongelige Biblioteks samlinger
The first Danish books to arrive in Finland were as Swedish spoils of war in the 17thcentury. Nearly all of these were however destroyed in the Great Fire of Turku of 1827.Only the grammar school library of Porvoo has books of older origin. Finland's NationalLibrary (then the University Library of Helsinki) obtained the most importantpart of its present collection of older Danish literature in the form of imperial bookdonations from St. Peterburg. In 1833 was added the library of the Marble
... y of the Marble Palace,which for the most part consisted of Baron Johann Albrecht von Korff's (1697-1766)private library, which he had built up during over more than two decades when he wasRussian ambassador in Denmark. A further significant donation (in 1836) was Petervan Suchtelen's collection of European dissertations, including dissertations from theUniversities of Copenhagen and Kiel.The donation of the Korffska library brought c. 22.000 volumes along with the correspondingcatalogues to Helsinki. Since these books lacked ownership stamps and thelibrary had not been kept together as a single unit, verifying which volumes originatedfrom Korff proved to be an extensive research task. It could however be assumed thatall publications printed before 1766 in Denmark and the duchies originate from hislibrary. A quite obvious case in point is the collection Miscellanea, which consists of individuallybound and numbered combined bindings containing 2,266 separate works,and also a collection of older dissertations, around 2-3.000 in number. Thanks to theKorffska library the Finnish National Library owns a wide range of older Danish titles,of which some seem even to be lacking in The Royal Danish Library's collection.The advent of new online catalogues has meant that research on historical collectionsnow has new tools available to it. The retroconversion of catalogues does howeverconceal a problem, which derives amongst other things from the thoroughness of theconversion. Furthermore, retroconverted catalogues often lack authority control, afact which the researcher must always bear in mind.