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New from the collection

Our collection inspector has visited the conservators at Bevaring Sjælland, where previously exhibited items have been given a loving hand.

Here are the shooting targets that belong to the Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society, which since 1949 has had its home at Sølyst, north of Copenhagen.
Since the middle of the 1700th century, it has been tradition for each new shooting brother to give the Shooting Society a painted shooting target, as a presentation of himself.
The admission of shooting brothers with a Jewish background is inextricably linked to the Danish Jews' history of integration and assimilation and especially the new opportunities that the Jews got with the so-called "Letter of Freedom" - the Ordinance of 1814.
Here you can see a selection of shooting targets that belonged to a shooting brother with a Jewish background. The conservator could tell that the special thing about Bernhard Hirschsprung's shooting disc - picture number 3, is that the horse-drawn carriage on the far right was added later.

Collection and donation at the Danish Jewish Museum

The Danish Jewish Museum collects and preserves all types of materials that can help document important aspects of Jewish life in Denmark. The collection is the backbone of the museum and will in the future form the basis for exhibitions in the museum and research into Danish-Jewish history - and thus the broad understanding of Danish-Jewish cultural heritage and the issues linked to belonging to a minority.

The collection of objects for the Danish Jewish Museum has been going on since 1985, when the Foundation for the Danish Jewish Museum was established. The background was, among other things, the very well-attended exhibitions of the previous years, which were created on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the flight of the Danish Jews in October 1943 and the 300-year anniversary of the Mosaic Faith Society. The visitor figures showed that there was a great demand for more knowledge on the subject and potential for the establishment of a more permanent museum framework around the collection, preservation and dissemination of Danish-Jewish cultural heritage. 

The museum's collection has grown steadily since then and today contains several thousand objects. The main part of the collection consists of objects and photos, while the remaining part consists of works of art as well as archive funds, film recordings, sound recordings etc.

The museum's collection practices are professionalised. This entails, among other things, that the museum secures all provenance information, develops and practices an active and targeted collection strategy, secures donation declarations on all collected material and ensures thorough registration.

The collection consists mainly of material donated by private individuals as well as donations from a number of smaller Jewish associations and businesses. This means that the collection inspires research into, for example, testimonies and other studies with a focus on the history of Jewish individuals, families and associations in Denmark. Finally, there are donations from the Jewish congregations. Here, the Jewish Society in Denmark occupies a particularly prominent position, as the religious community has made several significant donations to the museum's collection, including a cultural treasure consisting of more than 300 ritual objects (Judaica).

The objects in the collection shed light on a wide range of subjects of both religious, cultural, artistic and political nature – often from a personal angle. The collection reflects, for example, many different perceptions of what it means to be Jewish and to be Danish - and thus provides an empirical basis for research into identity, integration and assimilation processes. In addition, there is material that sheds light on specific central events in both Danish-Jewish history and European history. 

The contents of the collection are thus not only interesting for historians, but also for researchers in a wide range of other subjects, including art history, Hebrew, religious studies, sociology, culture and language encounter studies, minority studies, ethnology, anthropology, social science and many more.

Access to the collection

The collection forms a central basis for new research, and the museum is experiencing a steadily increasing interest in studying and researching the collection. There is free access to search the published part of the museum's collection, and those interested have the opportunity to order access to study the collection materials themselves at the museum.

If you want access to study collection materials, please first search for the materials that you would like access to study. The museum is then contacted with the registration numbers of the materials that you wish to study in more detail. Applicants who wish to access the collection are asked to inform the museum of the purpose of their application. It is possible to have scans and copies made of archives in the Danish Jewish Museum's collection by prior arrangement. 

Several of our objects are in remote storage, and we reserve the right to charge a fee for taking our objects home for use at the museum. Donors and their descendants of the items are exempt from this fee. When taking home many objects in cubic metres, further arrangements are made with the staff.

First item 500 DKK

Subsequent items 50 DKK

Inquiries should be directed to museum inspector Signe Bergman Larsen via email to sbl@jewmus.dk or on tel. 91 23 07 21

The museum's collection is registered in the Danish Cultural Heritage Agency's joint system for state and state-recognised museums. Along with the registration, the museum regularly publishes descriptions and illustrations of the collection's many objects via the two search portals "Museernes Samlinger" and "Kunstindeks Danmark". 

Search the Danish Jewish Museum's collection i The Museums' Collections

Search the artworks in the museum's collection i Art Index Denmark.











Donations to the collection

Are your things going to a museum?

I would like to donate something

If you have something at home that sheds light on Danish Jewish history, the Danish Jewish Museum will gladly accept it for the collection.

The Danish Jewish Museum contains cultural-historical and religious objects, photographs, archives - including minutes, diaries, manuscripts, official and private letters - and works of art. All together, something that in one way or another is part of and illuminates Danish Jewish history. It may illuminate individuals, entire families, institutions or associations. It may be that it illuminates Jewish culture, traditions and religiosity. It can also be that it illuminates the daily life of people or the like. which is linked to Danish Jewish history.

If you have any items that contain some of those aspects, we would love to hear from you.

What should I do?

You must take a picture of the object or materials in question and send an email to museum inspector Signe Bergman Larsen at sbl@jewmus.dk and describe what the picture represents. Next, briefly outline where things come from. Have you, for example, always had it in the family and seen your grandmother use it, or is it something you found in a box in the attic?

If the material meets the Danish Jewish Museum's collection policy, is in good condition and is not something that is already represented in the museum's collection, then we make an agreement on transfer to the museum.

Transfer to the Danish Jewish Museum's collection

When you transfer an object or other materials to a museum, you transfer ownership. This is done by both parties signing a donation declaration. It also obliges the museum to take care of the material, include it in the collection or send it back to you if it cannot be included in the collection anyway.

First, the object (or similar) is registered in the Danish museums' common registration system, SARA. Here, physical characteristics are carefully recorded, as well as the object's provenance and relationship to Danish Jewish history. Most importantly, it is also recorded where the object is located at all times, so that it can always be found again.

If the object is to be exhibited, it is sent to our conservators, who prepare it for exhibition. If it is to be stored, it is securely packed in acid-free materials before it is archived.

Will my item be exhibited?

Maybe. Sometimes the museum may use the object in an upcoming exhibition. Other times it is loaned to other museums. At other times it is "exhibited" on our social media and other platforms. Often it is put on a magazine. From here, however, researchers, students, museum staff and other interested parties still have access to it and all the other exciting effects the museum contains. For both research, genealogical research and communication.

If you are interested in seeing something from the museum's archive, you can book an archive visit by writing to registrar Thomas Egebæk at te@jewmus.dk.

New to the museum's archive


Bent Melchior died on 28 July 2021 at the age of 92. During his long life, the former chief rabbi lived through landmark events for Danish Jewish history and helped shape his contemporaries. Born in the then German town of Beuthen (today's Bytom, Poland) in 1929, Bent manages to briefly set foot in the Third Reich before the family moves back to Denmark in 1934. He flees with his family to Sweden in October 1943, where he spends the rest of the war. In 1948, he goes into military service for the newly established state of Israel. Bent received his rabbinical training in London and took over his father's office as chief rabbi of the Mosaic Faith Community in Copenhagen in 1970. During this time, and right up until his death, Bent established himself as a well-known personality through his involvement in the faith community, politics and social debate.
Fragments from these experiences have been left in Bent's private archive, which the Danish Jewish Museum archives for posterity.