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The Royal Library (DK)

The Royal Library of Denmark has a double function as the largest university library in Denmark and as the Danish national library which holds and maintains the Danish national collections of published material. The collections are primarily based on legal deposit, a practice that has existed in Denmark since 1697.

In 1998 the Danish Legal Deposit Act was changed to include digital materials, including computer games and interactive software on physical media. The library has a computer game collection of about 1.500 games for a variety of platforms on physical media, not including online games.  The library is presently engaged in a process of migrating computer game data from original data media to more sustainable long-term preservation platforms. Additionally the national collection of periodicals contains a number of cover discs from various video game magazines.

Since 1998 the library has collected online publications, and from 2005 onwards we have been engaged in full-scale web harvesting of Danish web sites to the national web archive,, in collaboration with The State and University Library in Aarhus. The web archive presently comprises some 245 Tb. In 2011 the library began a systematical process of identifying harvested computer games in the web archive. An effort has been made to ensure that as much game data as possible is harvested, however this process is not always adequate, thus an effort is also made to identify and harvest material and web sites related to the games, i.e. community forums, videos, online reviews, blogs, etc.

The game data harvested comprises the most common file types for this kind of material: Flash, Java, and – more recently – Unity3d. With the exception of Unity3d these materials are heavily represented in the web archive, not only in relation to games, but as part of the web archive in general.

Presently the Library is focusing on extending the computer game collection in two directions: First through the development of a coordinated video game documentation practices in order to ensure the relevance of our collection of games related materials. Secondly we are working on clarifying the technical issues involved with the collection and preservation of apps for portable media, primarily iOS and Android. The library expects to be able to include a number of apps in its collections within the first half of 2012.

The Royal Library was a founding member of IIPC in 2003 and has remained in the steering committee since.

The library was a PLANETS partner (2006-2010) and an OPF founder and member since 2010.