The National Museum of Photography’s collection contains about 50,000 works, divided into Danish photography, foreign photography and several special collections.
The foreign collection contains important works by well-known names such as William Henry Fox Talbot, Maxime Du Camp, Roger Fenton, Julia Margaret Cameron, O.G. Rejlander, John Thomson, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Erich O. Salomon, August Sander, Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Richard Avedon, Duane Michals, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Goldblatt, Tracey Moffatt, Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer, Paul Graham and Shirana Shahbazi.
The Danish collection offers a large number of works by people like Jette Bang, Helmer Lund Hansen, Jesper Høm, Viggo Rivad, Gregers Nielsen, Tove Kurtzweil, Jørgen Schytte, Marianne Grøndahl, Krass Clement, Kisten Klein, Per Bak Jensen, Joachim Koester, Olafur Eliasson, Ann Lislegaard, Joachim Ladefoged, Søren Lose, Ebbe Stup Wittrup, Katya Sander, Trine Søndergaard, Nikolai Howalt and Astrid Kruse Jensen.
The collection also boasts the largest amount of daguerreotypes in Scandinavia and a large collection of so-called albums that also contain photographs pasted into books.
Since the invention of photography in 1839, photographs have been included in The Royal Library’s collections. To begin with as pasted-in photographs in printed Danish books which were submitted to the library according to the Act on Legal Deposit. Subsequent donations and acquisitions helped augment the photograph collection, which in 1902 became part of the then newly established Department of Maps and Pictures. From the beginning of the 1950s radical efforts were made to acquire photographs, and the collection grew astronomically under the leadership of the country’s first photo-historian, Bjørn Ochner. Today we distinguish between the culture-historical collection of about 18 mil. works and the more exclusive photo museum collection. The Royal Library also holds the country’s largest collection of negatives, including names like Holger Damgaard, Julie Laurberg, Rie Nissen, Hans Robertson, Sven Türch, Viggo Rivad and Gregers Nielsen.