Registry data

Registry data

About digitally created registers from the Danish State administration


Registry data in the Danish National Archives

The National Archives has digitally created registries that contain data on citizens, companies, environmental matters, etc. We have collected virtually all relevant registry data from Denmark’s government authorities since they began using EDP.

What is registry data

Digitally created registries consist of databases with tables and relationships between data. For example, the registries may contain information on specific populations in Denmark or defined topics such as business registrations, environmental and climate observations, etc.


Registry data allows researchers to study phenomena in depth by combining different forms of registry data and studying variations over time.


For more information on Danish registry research and metadata in relation to Danish government registries, see the Coordinating Body for Registry Research’s website.

Access rules

Registry data generally becomes freely available after 20 years. If the data includes personal data (e.g. national identification numbers), they are only accessible after 75 years.

You can apply for access to registry data less than 75 years old in the Danish National Archives database ‘Search for digitally created data’.


Go to ‘Search for digitally created data’


The Danish National Archives obtains permission from the Danish Data Protection Agency and the submitting authority (if applicable) whenever it receives an application for access to datasets that are not readily available. You should therefore expect your access request to take up to 3 months to be processed.


The data is structured in the National Archives’ special xml-based preservation format. XML files can be read in the Danish National Archives’ database program Sofia, which can only be accessed in the Danish National Archives’ reading rooms.


If the data needs to be loaded into other applications, it can be converted to SAS or CSV files, but then the original database relationships need to be re-established from a metadata file.


The Danish National Archives can assist with converting or constructing datasets with a specific selection of tables and variables. Major undertakings may be subject to a fee, however.

Contact Researcher Service

How we can help

Do you have questions about registry data?


The Danish National Archives’ Researcher Service unit can offer input and guidance on identifying and using digital data in the Danish National Archives’ collections.

The purpose of this service is to help researchers help themselves and includes up to 1 hour of free consultation.


If you would like the Danish National Archives to conduct a major investigation on your behalf with a view to identifying relevant data (analogue and digital), e.g. for a large research project, we can provide such assistance for a fee.


Read more about our Researcher Service unit here