The Dreyer Collection

More than 60 books about Dreyer and his works have been written over the years, along with countless articles. The DFI Library holds one of the world's biggest collections of books and periodicals about film and television, including a number of invaluable special collections of individuals and corporations, chief among them the large Carl Theodor Dreyer Collection.

The Carl Theodor Dreyer Collection

The collection is founded on donations from Dreyer's estate that transferred to the Danish Film Museum (now the DFI / Archive & Cinematheque) in autumn 1975. Among Dreyer's papers are original manuscripts and research materials for several of his unrealised film projects, including 'Jesus of Nazareth' and 'Mary Stuart', as well as personal letters, photos, clippings, film awards and parts of his book collection. Add to this the DFI's clippings materials and its collections of books and articles

The database

This extensive collection of archive materials is mainly stored at the DFI's Carl Theodor Dreyer Study Centre in Gothersgade, Copenhagen. It includes manuscripts, letters, production-related documents, newspaper clippings, personal notes and records, plus books, images, research materials and much more. The documents are now being catalogued into a database (using the library's existing Aleph system) with comprehensive keyword indexing. In the process, relevant materials are selected for digitising. Meanwhile, the condition of the materials is evaluated by the DFI conservator, who is charged with repacking and optimally preserving the collection. 

The collection is organised as follows:

  • I: Individual films and film projects
    A: Feature films
    B: Feature film projects
    C: Short films
    D: Short film projects
  • II: Correspondence
    A: Misc. correspondence
    B: Correspondence with Blevins Davis
    C: Correspondence with Leiser & Morris
    D: Misc. correspondence with Dreyer's Copenhagen lawyer.
    E: Birthday letters and telegrams
  • III: Dagmarteatret
  • IV: Private library
  • V: Clippings collection (incl. approx. 1,000 newspaper clippings of Dreyer’s newspaper column 'Livet i byretten' [Life in the City Court])
  • VI: Misc. materials (objects, etc.)

The collection is partially recorded in three different paper registers:

  • The Museum's register of Dreyer's papers for individual films and film projects (I)
    Nine ring binders with descriptions of each archive item. An index of the contents of this register has been made.
  • The Museum’s register of Dreyer’s correspondence (II)
    Three ring binders with a brief description of each letter to and from Dreyer. Parts III-VI of the main collection have yet to be itemized.
  • The DR register of Dreyer's Jesus film:
    Two ring binders compiled by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) during the production of a TV documentary, 'Et livsværk – Carl Th. Dreyers Jesusfilm' (A Life's Work – Carl Theodor Dreyer's Jesus Film, 1970).

Read the first twenty pages of Vampyr


Please address comments and inquiries to

Contacts for the project:
Dan Nissen 
(Project Owner) 
Head of Department 
DFI Archive & Cinematheque 
+45 3374 3579

Lisbeth Richter Larsen 
(Project Manager, Editor)
Research Librarian, Filmography Editor 
DFI Archive & Cinematheque 
+45 3374 3536 

Henrik Fuglsang 
(Project Coordinator) 
Archivist, Web Editor 
DFI Archive & Cinematheque 
+45 3374 3556