Det Kongelige danske Søkortarkiv

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The Royal Nautical Charts Archives' former building at Esplanaden

Det Kongelige danske Søkortarkiv (English: the Royal Danish Nautical charts archive) was a Danish Navy department, responsible for making accurate nautical charts for the Danish government, primary the Navy, for nearly 200 years. Its former building at Toldbodvej, now Esplanaden, was also the first home of the Danish Meteorological Institute. The building now houses Mærck Oil.


The Royal Danish Nautical Charts Archive was initiated by royal resolution of 25 October 1784, at the initiative of a naval captain, Poul Løvenørn, who would also become the first director of the department.

On 1 April 1973 the department, together with Lodsvæsenet (the pilot service), Fyrvæsenet (the lighthouse service) and Redningsvæsenet (the rescue service), was merged into Farvandsdirektoratet, in that process changing its name to Nautisk Afdeling and gaining a few more responsibilities. By royal resolution of 9 October 1987, the nautical chart production part was detached and combined with Geodætisk Institut and Matrikeldirektoratet to form Kort & Matrikelstyrelsen, where it today is a department called Søkortområdet.

According to resolution of 1816, nautical charts produced by Søkortarkivet has no copyright expiration date.[1] They are permanently copyright protected by the Danish government. This order is still valid according to the Danish copyright law § 92.[2]


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  2. ^ Schønning, Peter (2008) Ophavsretsloven med kommentarer, 4th ed. (in Danish). Copenhagen: Forlaget Thomson, p. 746. ISBN 978-87-619-2211-3.