The Nordic Africa Institute

Danish Foreign Ministry Archives


Danish Foreign Ministry Archives at the Danish National Archive

The records of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Udenrigsministeriet) are filed in groups and sub-groups. Groups have numbers, for instance, main group 1 is material on the Danish royal house and its international relations, 5 is foreign policy relations in general, 6 is war related issues, 104 is development assistance/'Danida', 119 is the UN. Higher numbers are on domestic issues in individual foreign countries (predominantly reporting from Danish missions), such as 131 for Portugal and 255 for Zambia.

Each of these main filing groups is divided to sub-groups marked with a letter. For instance, 5.Q is Danish foreign policy vis-a-vis Africa and 131.K is Portugal's policies in her colonies. Most of these sub-groups marked with a letter consist of sub-sub filings with a number, sometimes related to subject, sometimes as serial numbers.

All filing numbers (that were started before 1973) can be found in the Foreign Ministry Filing Record ('Udenrigsministeriets Journaliseringsreigstrant'). A copy of this is kept in a reference section of the National Archives (Rigsarkivet) in the public reading room. An inventory of 1945 - 1972 Foreign Ministry material is also kept here.

The Danish National Archives receives all the material from Danish ministries and state institutions, as standard procedure. In addition, many private organizations and individuals transfer and donate collections to the Archives.

According to Danish law public material is restricted for 20 years and private collections for 75 years. Access to material of this age, and older, is normally granted as routine. On application, privileged access can on special occasions be granted to material younger than these time limits (see: All applications for access to material, both old and new, must be made to the Archive and the Archive may refer it to the Ministry through an internal procedure.

Foreign Ministry material has over time been transferred to the National Archives in chronological portions. All material older than and including 1972 has already been transferred, and files from the years 1973 to 1988 are due to be transferred within the next few years. Younger files are kept at the Ministry.

One major transfer includes material for the period 1945 to 1972. A second section of material from the years 1973 to 1978 was kept in the Foreign Ministry at the time of research (1996-98), and is in the process of being physically transferred to the Rigsarkivet. A third group of material from 1979 onwards is kept as microfiche in the Ministry.


[Series] Foreign Policy
[Volume] South Africa
[Volume] African Liberation Movements (6 boxes)
[Volume] Malawi-South Africa
[Volume] Zambia
[Volume] Mozambique-Rhodesia-Nyasaland
[Volume] Ditto Israel
[Volume] Ditto Ghana
[Volume] Ditto Libya
[Volume] Relations between United Arab Republic and S.A.
[Volume] Political developments in Africa (4 boxes)
[Volume] Communist infiltrations in Africa (3 boxes)
[Volume] Africa Conference
[Volume] South Africa's strategic significance
[Volume] Angola

[Series] Wounded, war prisoners, civilian victims, The Red Cross
[Volume] Support to refugee students from the Republic of South Africa (9+15 boxes).
[Volume] Support from other countries
[Volume] International Peace League (Moletlane) (1 box).
[Volume] General political situation in South Africa (3 boxes).
[Volume] General political situation in Rhodesia (3 boxes).
[Volume] General political situation in Namibia (5 boxes).
[Volume] LO{Danish TUC}Support, Basotho mine workers (5 boxes).
[Volume] Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Denmark
[Volume] ANC via Ibis/Interfund
[Volume] Support, individual refugees from Southern Africa
[Volume] Africa Educational Trust
[Volume] Repatriation to South Africa
[Volume] Various contracts, UNTAG observers
[Volume] Various applicants
[Volume] Danish Gymnastics and Youth Association (DDGU)
[Volume] Danish Teachers' Union - support to ATASA
[Volume] SWAPO
[Volume] ASF - Dansk Folkehjælp
[Volume] UFF
[Volume] ANC (1+1 boxes).
[Volume] Fofatusa
[Volume] IUEF : International University Extension Fund (1+5 boxes).
[Volume] Support to refugees, Applications from WUS/Ibis (2+10 boxes).
[Volume] Support to refugees Applications from World Council of Churches / DanChurchAid (2+10 boxes).
[Volume] Support to refugees Applications from Swaziland (Coxan, Ephesus House).
[Volume] Support to refugee students from the South African Republic Applications from IDAF (1+4 boxes).
[Volume] Joint Nordic meetings about South African refugee issues (1+1 boxes).
[Volume] The Committee concerning support to refugees (5 boxes).
[Volume] Support to refugee students from the South African Republic General Issues (2 boxes).
[Volume] Support to refugees. Applications from SASO (1 box).
[Volume] ANC-Zimbabwe : Welfare trust Zanu-Zapu. (1+6 boxes).
[Volume] Frelimo (1 box).
[Volume] Pan African Congress and Azania
[Volume] PAIGC (1 box).
[Volume] Kirkernes Raceprogram {=Programme to Combat Racism, Dk}.
[Volume] FNLA / GRAE (1 box).
[Volume] Angola Committee, Holland (1 box).
[Volume] Arbejderbevægelsens Solidaritetsfond {= 'The Labour Movement's Solidarity Fund'} (1+1 boxes).
[Volume] M.P.L.A., Angola. (2+2 boxes).
[Volume] AWEEPA

[Series] Protection of Danes and foreigners
[Volume] Protection of Danes and foreigners in situations of political crisis, refugees, liabilities etc.

[Series] Official Development Assistance (Danida)
[Volume] O.A.U.
[Volume] UN Namibia Fund
[Volume] UN Anti-Apartheid Publications Fund

[Series] UN {Various filing numbers for (country X boxes) and the UN.}

[Series] UN {Denmark's participation in the UN General Assembly etc. including reportings to the parliament ('Folketing'); filing numbers for individual MPs and officials (probably travelling vouchers etc.).}

[Series] UN - Sanctions
[Volume] The use of sanctions, ref chapter 41 (9+2 boxes)
[Volume] Sanction interventions of other nations (5 boxes)
[Volume] Danish sanction policies regarding passport and visa regulations for South Rhodesia (1 box)

[Series] UN relations to South Africa
[Volume] Indians in South Africa (4+1 boxes)
[Volume] Racial policy in SAU (40+6 boxes)
[Volume] Contacts from private individuals about the situation in South Africa (1 box)
[Volume] South African membership of international organisations (1 box)
[Volume] International day for abolishing racial discrimination (1 box)
[Volume] Arms embargo on South Africa
[Volume] Apartheid and sports
[Volume] Independence for colonial territories (23 boxes)

[Series] UN - Trusteeships
[Volume] Trustee Council (7+6 boxes)
[Volume] Trustee Council: administrative areas (3+1 boxes)
[Volume] Individual Trusteeships (8+2 boxes)
[Volume] The South West Africa Trusteeship (32+3 boxes)

[Series] Portuguese domestic issues
[Volume] Portuguese overseas

[Series] South African domestic issues

[Series] Zambian domestic issues

[Series] Mozambican domestic issues

[Series] Angolan domestic issues

[Series] Namibian domestic issues


The list is originally based on the filing record covering records for the period 1945 to 1972 in the National Archive. This material was transferred from the Ministry to the Archive in one bulk with its index. It is supplemented with index lists for 1973 to 1988 and for 1989 onwards.
Names of filing groups are translated to English from the Danish Index list by Morgenstierne who has also added the notes in: {}.
(Note: italics = latest year found by NAI project, younger material is likely to exist).


Danish National Archives
[Danish: 'Rigsarkivet']
Rigsdagsgården 9
DK-1218 Copenhagen K
Telephone: +45 33923310
Fax: +45 33 15 32 39
E-mail: External link. (In Danish)

Archive extent, country, period and keywords.







Danish Foreign Ministry Archives Denmark Angola Mozambique Namibia South Africa Zimbabwe International relations Danida