Dansk Folkemindesamling (DFS), The National Collection of Folklore in Copenhagen

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Dansk Folkemindesamling (DFS), The National Collection of Folklore in Copenhagen
by Axel Olrik











»The National Collection of Folklore» was founded in 1904—05 with the aim to contain »the folk-lore of Denmark and all what might serve to its illustration». The Collection makes a part of the Royal Library at Copenhagen, but with own direction and own fonds.

Of the older collections of folklore all the great collections of Svend Grundtvig (1825—1883, the celebrated editor of ballads, professor in the university of Copenhagen) are incorporated in DFS. Collections anterior to this (e. g. the ballad-books of 16th and 17th centuries) are scattered in several public libraries.

The intention of DFS has hitherto been: 1) to complete the collection from oral tradition, 2) to arrange and book the Danisch tradition in a systematical way. A little hand-library is connected with the MS collection; the large folkloristical library (c. 3,000 volumes) of dr. H. F. Feilberg belongs testamentary to DFS, but is yet in its owner's possesion. The great MS collection of Evald Tang Kristensen is for some part (fairy tales) incorporated in DFS, for some part only deposed, and still a part of the collection remains with the collector himself (living in Vejle, Jutland).

DFS contains these sections: I) MS of Svend Grundtvig, II) The New Collection, III) MS of Evald Tang Kristensen, IV) Phonographical Section.

In the following pages will be given an abridged catalogue of its contents. (O means: original MS of the collector, C copy, XC exerpt, P scraps of Journals etc., CAT catalogues, CLL collectanea).

Section I has its firm numbers (DFS N:o 1—153): so also Sect. IV (phonogr.). Sect. II is only numbered with the year of accession, followed by an interimistic number (e. g. DFS 1904, 17 — vol. 17 of the accession of a. d. 1904).

I. Svend Grundtvig's collection.

A. The main collection of Svend Grundtvig.

DFS 1—23: Folklore in General. 1—17 o; 18—23 fly sheats (18—19 pop. ballads, 20—21 mix. (and Swedish), 22 Danish folk-books, 23 Swedish folk-books).

DFS 24—71: Ballads. 24—26 old codices, 27—28 older cat, 29—33 cat, 34-43 c (34—41 old ballads, 42 humerous, 43 new ballads), 44—63 cll. & additions to old ballads (»Danmarks gamle folkviser»). 64—64b Swedish & Norwegian ballads, 65-67a Icelandic, 68—68b Faeroic (codex Sandoyjarbók), 69 English (correspondence with F. J. Child), 70 French (c of printed book: Ampère, Instructions, 1853), 71 Grundtvig's university lectures of Danish ballads 1864.

DFS 72—87: Fairy Tales. 72—72a cat, 73—75 xc, 76—87c.

DFS 88—103: Legends & Superstitions, 88—89 xc, 90— 98 legends c, 99—102 superstitions c, 103 customs c.

DFS 104—118: Rhymes Etc. 104—110 rhymes c, 111—113 proverbs c, 114—115 enigms c, 116—117 Icelandic enigms, Icelandic rhymes etc.

DFS 119—132: Appendices to the coll. of Svend Grundtvig. 119—121 Grundtvig's printed collections with additions of the author, 122 xc of old Danish sources, 123 collection of K. Gjerding, 124 xc, 125 cat. of Grundtvig's library, 126 Literature of Folklore, (127), 128 magic MS (»Cyprianus»), 129 enigmes (1847) 130 xc miscellenea (18th cent.), 131 songs (o. AD 1800), 132 dialect coll.

B. The Faeroic collections of Svend Grundtvig and J. Bloch

(these works were planned by Grundtvig in his later years, and elaborated by Bloch in these and after Gr.'s death; see Aarbøger for nordisk olkyndighed 1882, p. 357. & Arkiv för nordisk filologi VI, p. 246).

DFS 133—150: Faroyjakvaði (Corpus Carminum Faeroensium). DFS 151—153: Faeroic dictionary.

C. Biographical collections concerning Svend Grundtvig and his wife

(bequeathed 1910 by Jörgen Bloch; not yet arranged in detail).

II. The new collection.

(Interimistically arranged corresponding to the year, in which the single packets were incorporated in the collection. The largest part makes the year 1906, containing the Increasing collections: the packets where all little contributions are to be put in.)
DFS 1904, 1—36: Folklore of birds, collected by the rev. Fr. L. Grundtvig († 1904) 1—8 scandinavian names of birds, 9—36 folklore of birds.

DFS 1904, 37—46: Folklore collections of J. Kamp († 1904). 37—38 folklore in general, 39 ballads, 40 tales, 41—42 legends & superstitions, 43—44 rhymes etc., 45 dances, 46 life of peasantry, 47 folklore & rural architectures, 48—49 rural architectures.

DFS 1904, 50—52: Surnames in Denmark, collections of the committee of government 1901.

DFS 1906, 1—92: Danish Folklore, increasing collections etc. 1—2e: Folklore in General, 1 o, 2 p, 2b c, 2c—2e o (special coll.).
3—9: Ballads, 3 o, 3b p, 4—4b c, 5 reproductions of old codices, 6b fly-scheats, 7 printed pieces relating to »Daum. gl. Folkeviser», 8 unprinted researches concerning ballads, 9 p concerning ballads.
10—13: Ballad-Melodies, 10—11 cat, 12 o (and transscriptions of phonograph records), 13 c.
11—22: Tales, 14 o, 15 p, 16—(17) c, 18—22 xc.
23—34: Legends and superstitions, 23 o, 24—25 p, 26—27 processes against sorcerers XVI—XIXth cent. (26 c, 27 p), 28—28c legends c, 29 legends of supernatural beings xc, 29b creeds of su pernatural beings c, 30—30c superstitions c, 31 holy wells cll, 31b folklore of great stones xc, 31c increasing stone hills xc, 31d holy trees xc, 31e holy wells xc, 31f folklore of dolmans xc, 32—34 legends of Slesvig cll.
35—42: Rhymes etc., 35—35c rhymes, 35d-35e games & sports, 36—37 dances, 38 proverbs etc. o, 39 proverbs etc. p, 40 proverbs c, 40b enigms c, 40c folklore of natural sounds c, 41—42 proverbs (local coll.).
43—45b: Festivals, 43 o, 44 p, 45 c, 45b cll.
46—53: Popular Life and Customs, 46 o, 47—47b p, 48 c, 49 o (local), 50 o (communal), 51 (Gipsies), 52 (Jews), 52—53 o p (in dialect).
54—73: Illustrations, 54—55 largest form & folio, 56 superstitions, 57 relating to ballads and legends, 58—60 the ballad-singers and storytellers of Evald Tang Kristensen, 60b ballad singers & story-tellers, 60c—60d games etc., 61—65 peasantry life etc., 66 buildings (photographed for the National Museum), 67 peasant vestiments, 68—71 peasant vestiments (phot. by the Folkdance Society), 71b transparent-plates, 72—73 ill. from the isle of Falster (F. L. Grundtvig's coll.).
74—78: Dialects, 74—75 Falster (F. L. Grundtvig). 76 glossaries o, 77—77b misc. p, 78 Jutland (J. Madsen).
79—92: Names, 79—80 person-names o p, 81—84 surnames o p & local, 85—92b place names.

DFS 1906, 93—114: Scandinavian folklore.
93—100: Sweden, 93—94 folklore in general o p, 65—96 do. local, 97-98 illustrations, 99 names, 100 dialects.
101—104: Norway, 101—102 folklore o p, 102b ballads cat., 103—104 illustrations.
105—110: Faeroe Islands, 105 folklore o p, 106 ballads o, 107 ballad-melodies, 108 legends etc. o p, 109—110 illustrations.
111—114: Iceland, 111 folklore o & cll, 112 p, 112b c, 113—114 illustrations.

DFS 1906, 114—115d: Folklore of other countries, 114b England, 115 Germany, 115b roman peoples, 115c Celtic, 115d Finns & Lapps.

DFS 1906, 116—133: Folklore of the world, 116—117 tales (116 cll, and 116b xc, 117 papers p), 118 legends cll, 119—121 Scandinavian legends of supernatural beings xc (by A. Olrik), 122 Northern mythology p papers & illustrations, 123—125 Superstitions of diverse lands (p cll illustrations), 126 appendix to F. Grundtvig's »folklore of birds» (cfr. 1904, 1—36), 127—133 illustrations [127 games etc., 131—132b savage peoples], 133 illustrations of modern artists to popular poetry). DFS 1906, 134—143: Letters and notices, especially concerning danish folklore and folklorists (134 letters, 135 notices, 136 H. F. Feilberg, 137 F. L. Grundtvig, 138 Kamp, 139—140 E. T. Kristensen, 141 Recke, 142—143 illustr.)

DFS 1909, 1—12: Miscellaneous, 1 superstitions (Fionia), dances (Bornholm), 3 books of sorcerers, 4 proverbs (Jutland), 5 dialect dictionary (Jutland), 6—7 miscell. p, 8—9 MSS of A. Olrik (Edda, Saxo), 10—12 photograph. plates.

DFS 1910, 1—5: Proverbs (Jutland, Ditlevsen).

III. MSS. of Evald Tang Kristensen.

As this section has not yet got its final arrangement, here scall only be recorded some of the principal groups of its contents.

Folklore in General, o, 23 voll.

Tales, vol. I—XXVI (containing N:o 1—2550); Humoristic tales.

Legends & Superstitions 26 voll.; Sorcerers books and medical books.

Proverbs 23 voll.; Peasantry Life.

IV. Phonographical section.

Danish N:o 1—121 ballads etc.

Faeroic N:o I—V ballads.

Icelandic [in preparation].

Eskimoic »T» (Thalbitzer from Ammassalik in East-Greenland) 23 N:os (and the other of this series as depositum) legends, incantations, rhymes etc. Another series Refsaas from the Polar Eskimoes) is going to be incorporated.

Directions for use.

1. Personal Investigations. Scientists may usually obtain permission to study in the collection itself; the assistents of DFS will then help to lend such papers, as are demanded. Without special permission the numbers of Section I (Grundtvig's collection) are accessible in the reading-hall of the Royal Library. 2. Questions in letters may be send by the members of FF, and copies and excerpts may be procured (to the prices fixed by FF).

A few remarks shall be given relating to the arrangement of diverse matters:

Ballads are arranged in this way: 1) Old ballads (corresponding to the edition: »Danmarks gamle Folkviser») 2) Humerous ballads (»Skæmteviser») (cat. DFS 32); 3) Younger ballads (»Kæmpevisens efterklang») (cat. DFS 33).

Tales (»Æventyr») are arranged mainly after the system of Grundtvig, described in the following paper. (In future this system will be compleated by the system of FF, which is in elaborating yet.)

Local legends (»sagn») are in the New Collection arranged topographically. (For the legends of Mythical beings a system is in work; cfr. DFS 1906, 29. 29b. 119—121).

Superstitions & Customs (»folketro», »folkeskik»). A system is in work.

Rhymes. A system of Dancing rhymes is elaborated (by Thuren and Grüner Nielsen; cfr. »Danske Studier» 1907, p. 130—133)[1]

  1. Special Catalogues (»DFS Fagkataloger», quite elaborated or yet in work):
    1. Folklore MSS in other (scandinavian) libraries. 2. Ballads (I. Nyerup and other older collections, II Grundtvig's Coll., III E. T. Kristensen, IV New Coll.). 4. Ballad Refrains. 5. Ballad Melodies. 6. Phonograph Records. 7. Tales of Evald Tang Kristensen. 8. Of new coll. 9. Tales, systematical (continuation of DFS 72—72c). 10. The Topographical arrangement of parishes in Denmark.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.