The Gentofte libraries have undergone a tremendous evolution from public book collections to modern knowledge centers.

Public libraries for all

On May 28 1918, an actual municipal library system was founded. The goal was to create a free, public library of patrons from all walks of life. There should be a Main Library in Hellerup, and circuit libraries in Skovshoved, Ordrup and Gentofte - and in Vangede, a so-called lending station.

Already in 1919 the circuit library in Gentoftegade 66 opened, and the following year the opening in Ordrup followed at the new fine Ordrup School. On the other hand, it was difficult to obtain housing for the Main Library in Hellerup, which initially had premises at the current Øregaard Museum.

The library case wins

Already in 1862 the seed of a library system was laid, when Prost Boisen of Gentofte church established a "Reading Library" for Gentofte, Ordrup, Vangede and Jægersborg. Against a modest annual contribution, books could be borrowed, but it was not a success. In 1874, Pastor Jantzen was more fortunate to have initiated the opening of a 100-volume library in Gentofte.

Borrowers' contributions were DKK 1 per year. The following year, a branch in Ordrup followed, and in the years after 1900, libraries were established in Vangede, Hellerup, Skovshoved and Jægersborg. From 1905, special children's libraries were also established.

The libraries had rooms in the schools where teachers served as librarians. From 1913 they received a small fee, while at the children's libraries "content with the joy this work should be". The number of patrons was not high. In 1916, there were 159 patrons out of a population of 32,000.

New Main Library in 1930

With private and municipal grants, in 1930, they managed to raise enough funds for the construction of a large and spacious library building on Øregaards Allé, designed by architect G.B. Hagen. However, with the library's growing work during those years, it became fast for cravings.

By 1926, Gentofte had been granted central library status for the County of Copenhagen, which necessitated the expansion of the new Main Library only a few years after its inauguration. And several departments had to move out, among other things. moved the children's library in 1950 to Strandvejen 82.

New Visionary Main Library in 1985

When the Gentofte Libraries were to have a new Main Library in 1985, the choice fell naturally on the visionary architect Henning Larsen, who is the architect of the beautiful building at Ahlmanns Allé 6. Since 1985, a technological leap has taken place in the library world with the introduction of PCs, Internet etc. Today, libraries act as knowledge centers - and are much more than books

Text by Lokalhistorisk Arkiv