Case #16: Access to data from the Danish National Archives (Rigsarkivet)


Cases are examples of questions and inquiries we receive in the Guidance Function, which we would like to share for inspiration.

A researcher contacted the Guidance Function with an inquiry about how to get access to data at the Danish National Archives.
The Danish National Archives possesses two different types of datasets:

  1. Datasets that are freely available.
    These types of datasets do not require any approvals or applications before they can be accessed. These types of datasets typically contains data that is more than 20 years old and does not contain personal data.

  2. Datasets that are not freely available.
    These types of datasets requires permission from the National Archives before they can be accessed. Depending on how old and what type of data the dataset contains, the Danish National Archives is required to get special approvals, before they can hand over the dataset.

a. If the dataset is less than 20 years old, the Danish National Archives must obtain an approval from the researcher or authority that created the dataset before they can pass it on

b. If the dataset contains personal data that is less than 75 years old, the Danish National Archives must furthermore obtain an approval from the Danish Data Protection Agency, before the dataset can be passed on.

For further information, visit the Danish National Archives website: Rigsarkivet – The Danish National Archives

In this case, we assisted the researcher to obtain an overview of how to apply for data at the National Archives depending on datatypes. We also passed on the contact information to the Danish National Archives so the researcher could contact them if specific questions arose about the individual datasets.

Please feel free to contact us if you need guidance in your research project. Our services are free, and we aim to reply to any inquiries within 2-4 working days.
The Guidance Function offers first-level support for Danish and international researchers in need of help to navigate the requirements and processes surrounding research projects.

News from the Guidance Function
We welcome your suggestions for content for the Guidance Function newsletter. Please submit any suggestions to

Opening hours
Monday – Thursday between 10:00 – 14:00
Friday between 10:00 – 13:00
Tel.: (+45) 2494 7969