The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives


This list of those to whom we owe expressions of gratitude will be regularly updated.

The Gradual Start of the Project

The publication of Thorvaldsen’s archive has been long in preparation, see The History of the Archives. The first steps towards the publication of the present digital version were taken in the 1990s.

  • The Danish Society for Language and Literature (DSL) is warmly thanked for its collaboration in the joint introductory phase with the first hesitant start on planning, applications to foundations offering financial support etc. The former director of DSL, Iver Kjær (1938-2002) and the director until 2011, Jørn Lund, showed their profound and warm interest in the project, and we wish to express our sincere thanks to them for their support and encouragement.
  • In 2005, the museum received technical assistance from DSL in developing the first prototype of that part of the database concerned with the presentation of the individual document. In this connection, we would like to thank Thomas Hansen, editor at DSL, for the time and interest he so kindly and willingly devoted to this project.
  • We are grateful to DSL for establishing contact with and partly covering the salary of Jens Keld (1943-2006), who made an invaluable contribution between 1996 and 2001 by transcribing and collating ca. 4.300 letters. In addition, he traced and copied several hitherto undiscovered letters for the collection. The Archives benefit every day from his enormous, meticulous contribution. Without Jens Keld there would have been no digital archives. On account of his early death, however, he unfortunately never came to experience the virtual forum in which his unique work now lives on, but we would nevertheless like to record our sincere gratitude to him.


Without both small and large contributions from cultural foundations, the Archive project would never have progressed from a brilliant idea to an absolutely concrete undertaking that has taken many years and required the services of several colleagues.

  • In a more historical context, we would like to thank the Carlsberg Foundation, the Ny Carlsberg Foundation and the Rask-Ørsted Foundation for support for the earlier attempts to publish this material in 1942 and 1950 under the leadership of the then director of the museum, Sigurd Schultz (1894-1980). We would also record our gratitude to these foundations for their immense patience during the often protracted and finally abandoned earlier efforts at publication. For more on this, see the article on the History of the Archives.
  • We would like to express our warm thanks to the Direktør Werner Richter og Hustrus Legat and the Novo Nordisk Foundation for their generous financial support of Jens Keld’s work in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
  • We thank the Research Council for Culture and Communication (previously the Danish Research Council for the Humanities) for covering the salary of Ernst Jonas Bencard, the project leader, during the important introductory phase in 2004-05.
  • We are grateful towards the Danish Agency for Culture (previously Danish Cultural Heritage Agency), which was responsible for financing the development of the first version of the database, which was established in collaboration between Thorvaldsens Museum and Oncotype in 2006.
  • We are particularly indebted to the Velux Foundation, without whose magnificent grant in 2006 the work on the publication of the documents would in all probability once more have come to nothing on account of the discrepancy between the enormous amount of material on the one hand and a lack of funding on the other. The Velux Foundation ensured financial peace of mind for The Archives for no less than five years, and our gratitude for this can hardly be expressed sufficiently.


  • In superb collaboration with The Archives, the company Oncotype has with very great care developed the entire technical basis for the electronic publication. We would here especially like to mention the interactive designer and developer Mattias Bodlund, who has listened attentively to a host of wishes and expectations relating to the capability of the database and from this been able to put them into practice, or else has transformed technically impossible ideas into others of a more feasible nature. We would like to express our sincere and deeply felt thanks for this enormous undertaking, which still continues.

Invaluable ad hoc help

We warmly thank the following for their kind assistance in various matters:

  • Jesper Brandt Andersen, Vordingborg for generously making his transcriptions of letters from P.O. Brøndsted to the family Halling Aagaard available to the Archives.
  • Karen Ascani, Rome for her kind and willing help concerning matters related to Georg Zoëga. Ascani is the editor of: Georg Zöega: Briefe und Dokumente II-IV, Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab, Copenhagen 2013.
  • The Bakkehus Museum, Frederiksberg / museum director Gertrud With for generously lending us photographs of portraits to illustrate biographies in the Archives.
  • Mogens Bencard, Nakke at Rørvig, for kindly transcribing several documents.
  • Detlef Bockenkamm of the Zentral- und Landesbibliotek Berlin (ZLB) for supplying us with the letter from the German sculptor Friedrich Tieck of 28.7.1835 as a digital copy.
  • Maren Bramsen, art historian, for scanning, editing and uploading of several written sources on Thorvaldsen.
  • Bjørn Bredal, research scholar in the Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen, for having found a letter of February-December 1826 from the author Malthe Conrad Bruun to Thorvaldsen.
  • Niels W. Bruun, Copenhagen for kindly referring to transcribers, and for discussing the translation of certain philological terms.
  • Giovanna Capitelli, Professore Associato di Storia dell’arte moderna, Università della Calabria for enthusiastically helping with identifying persons on Johan David Åkerblad’s list of artists in Rome 1798-99.
  • Renato Carozzi, professor of the Accademia di Carrara for help in obtaining biographical data relating to the brothers Camillo and Giovanni Landini and G.B. Raggi.
  • Lars Emanuelsson, Stockholm for very kindly having shared two Swedish texts on Thorvaldsen – one about a visit at the sculptor, the other about Thorvaldsen’s death.
  • Eric Forster, Neston for generously making his transcriptions of letters from the brothers John, Solomon and Benjamin Gibson available to the Archives.
  • Christoph Frank, Mendrisio for thoughtfully having photographed Thorvaldsen documents in the Ericsbergsarkiv in Stockholm and referring us to them.
  • Douglas Gourlay, research fellow at The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen for drawing our attention to a description of Thorvaldsen by the Scot Andrew Jameson.
  • Mechthild Haas, Dr., Leiterin der Graphischen Sammlung, Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt for kind permission to publish the pencil drawing portrait of Thorvaldsen by Henri Lehmann.
  • Karen Husum, ph.d., English, for the translation into English of Thorvaldsen’s own letters written in Danish.
  • Anne Gantzel Højslund, historian, for kindly having proof read ocr scans of several articles from Meddelelser fra Thorvaldsens Museum.
  • Karen Jelved, ph.d., English, for kindly offering her help in translations of abstracts, commentaries and the Chronology.
  • Finn Gredal Jensen, senior editor at The Danish Society for Language and Literature, for his kind help in estimating the time needed to transcribe several newly found not transcribed documents.
  • Birgitte Bøggild Johannsen, editor,, for kindly pointing to persons transcribing the documents.
  • Thomas Kappel,, art historian, for undertaking the enormous task of systematically writing down data on Thorvaldsen for the Chronology from multiple sources including J.M. Thiele’s biography of Thorvaldsen from 1851-56 and Christine Stampe’s memoirs of Thorvaldsen. On a more prosaic level, the Archives also expresses its warm thanks to the above-mentioned kind and considerate Thomas Kappel for the annual ice cream fund.
  • Ann-Charlotte Knockenhauer, librarian in Kungliga Biblioteket, Stockholm for having provided us with the Swedish orientalist Johan David Åkerblad’s list of artists in Rome.
  • Kristian Kofoed, doctor of medicine, Ph.d., for excellent medical assesment of, and assistance in understanding the Latin expressions in the autopsy report of Thorvaldsen.
  • Jonathan Levy, ph.d. student, for generously proof reading the transcriptions of all the French documents in the Archives.
  • Josephine Nielsen-Bergqvist, art historian, for scanning, editing and uploading of several written sources on Thorvaldsen.
  • Federico Piscopo, author of the book Echi canoviani, Crespano 2016, for supplying us with information on Friederike von Unruh.
  • Francesca Porreca, sculptural conservation technician, Musei Civici di Pavia, is thanked for having supplied us with useful information on the version of the Alxander Frieze in Pavia.
  • Katie Sambrook, Special Collections Librarian, Foyle Special Collections Library, King’s College London, for having contributed with the reference to Joseph Hume’s mention of Thomas Maitland, cf. Hansard, Great Britain, House of Commons, Hansard’s parliamentary debates, Commons Sitting of Thursday, June 7, 1821, George IV year 2, Column 1129, Second Series, Volume 5.
  • The Scanning Department of The Kultur- og Fritidsforvaltningen of the municipality of Copenhagen for scanning hundreds of documents.
  • Michael St. John-McAlister, curator in the British Library (Department of Manuscripts), London for his kind advice regarding the optimal translation into English of the Danish word “koncipist”.
  • Tobias H. Sørensen, sculptural conservation technician from Fælleskonserveringen, Kronborg, for contributing explanatory information on the question of how long a clay model can be kept moist without suffering significant damage.
  • Davide Tolomelli, PhD, Musei Civici del Castello Visconteo, Pavia, is thanked for having supplied us with useful information on the version of the Alxander Frieze in Pavia.
  • Hans Tybjerg, professor emeritus, is thanked for having drawn the attention to two hitherto undiscovered letters concerning the estate Thorvaldsen.
  • Jan Zahle, dr. phil., senior researcher, for a regular and productive dialogue, references to very relevant material on various subjects and access to his invaluable collection of materials on Danes in Rome.
  • The publishing house Ørby, Copenhagen for kindly letting us publish the English translation of Jørgen Dalhoffs memories on Thorvaldsen. The translation is published here.

Permission to publish

We would furthermore like to express our sincere thanks to the following institutions, archives, private collectors etc. for giving Thorvaldsens Museum the necessary permissions to publish documents in their possession:

  • Accademia di S. Luca, Rome.
  • Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
  • Archiv f. Bild. Kunst im Germanischen Nationalmuseum (Germanisches Nationalmuseum), Nuremberg.
  • Archivio di Stato di Roma, Rome.
  • Archivio storico Città di Torino, Turin.
  • Archivio Storico di Forlì, Forlì.
  • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich.
  • Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Munich.
  • Biblioteca Angelica, Rome.
  • Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, The Vatican State.
  • Biblioteca civica Bertoliana, Vicenza.
  • Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio, Bologna.
  • Biblioteca Labronica ‘F.D. Guerrazzi’, Livorno.
  • Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, Florence.
  • Biblioteca Statale di Lucca, Lucca.
  • Biblioteca Universitaria di Pisa, Pisa.
  • Biblioteka Narodowa, Zaklad Rekopisów, Warsaw.
  • Bibliothèque Polonaise, Musée A. Michiewicz, Paris.
  • Burgerbibliothek Bern, Bern.
  • Chatsworth House Trust, Bakewell.
  • Collection Frits Lugt, Fondation Custodia, Paris.
  • Das Bayerische Hautpstaatsarchiv, Munich.
  • The Devonshire Collection, Bakewell.
  • The Duke of Devonshire.
  • The Royal Library, Copenhagen.
  • Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, Marbach am Neckar.
  • Freies Deutsches Hochstift (Goethe-Haus), Frankfurt am Main.
  • Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg.
  • Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, Stuttgart.
  • Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, Hertford.
  • Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel.
  • Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Cologne.
  • Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein, Schleswig.
  • Landsbókasafn Íslands, Reykjavik.
  • Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
  • Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool Libraries, Liverpool.
  • Liverpool Royal Institution Archive, University of Liverpool, Liverpool.
  • Lytton Archive at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, Hertford.
  • National Archives, Stockholm.
  • The National Library of Norway, Oslo.
  • Northumberland Archives, Northumberland.
  • Gutsarchiv Nehmten, Schloss Nehmten.
  • Odense Bys Museer, Odense.
  • Gert Posselt, Hellerup.
  • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.
  • Rhode Island Historical Society Library, Providence.
  • Rigsarkivet, Copenhagen.
  • Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg.
  • Stadtarchiv Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Stadtarchiv Hannover, Hannover.
  • Stadtarchiv, Stuttgart.
  • Stadt-und Landesbibliothek, Dortmund.
  • Stiftung Weimarer Klassik, Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv, Weimar.
  • Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Carl von Ossietzky, Hamburg.
  • Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin.
  • University Library, Amsterdam.
  • University Library, Bergen.
  • University Library, Tartu.
  • University Library, Trondheim.
  • Polish Historical Society, Krakow.
  • Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart.
  • Zentral- und Landesbibliothek, Berlin.

Support for earlier projects

Apart from the foundations referred to previously, the above list only contains persons, institutions etc. that have provided support for the present publication project. For information on contributors who helped with earlier publications, see under Contributors.

Translation by Glyn Jones

Last updated 23.05.2022