CBS Library in the 1930s

During the centennial, we look back at the 100 years that have passed since the foundation of CBS Library. We have reached the 1930s.

Organisering af samlingen

Gammelt kartotekskort
Gammelt kartotekskort
Tekst om brugen af den alfabetiske katalog
Tekst om brugen af den systematiske katalog


Organisation of collections

The close of the 1920s saw the start of collection systematization and this work continued into the 30s. As part of their curriculum, students received advice on how to navigate the alphabetical catalogue to find books by title or author, and the systematic catalogue to look for topics.

Unfortunately, the old catalogues and index cards are lost – they became superfluous many years ago. However, the book on library navigation by Knud Larsen the head of the library contains both examples of index cards and the advice that was extended to students for their training in library use. Today, it is exceedingly simple to look up a book, an author or a topic in Libsearch, but there is something nostalgic about the old card-index cabinets.

The Department of Sales Organization and Advertising housed a library of advertising (Reklamebibliotek), and in the 1930s, they began to index articles from advertising journals residing in the main library for easy retrieval.

The 1930s is also when Danish companies commenced the practice of submitting reports and accounts to the library, a practice that continued for many years and ensured access to company data, which has always been a core part of CBS Library. Today it is much easier to find company information in databases such as Navne & Numre Erhverv that comprises PDF versions of company accounts and allows for easy export of financial data to Excel.

Library courses

The first mention of library courses is from the beginning of the 1930s. The 1932-33 annual report related how students and staff were introduced to the reference library and bibliographic indexes by the librarian.

External collaboration picked up pace and international agreements on inter-library loans were forged. One of the partner libraries was Handelshögskolans Bibliotek in Stockholm (Stockholm School of Economics) that to this day remains one of many international collaborators for books and articles requested by our users.

In 1932, the library changed its name to Handelsvidenskabeligt Bibliotek (Commercial Science Library).

Donation doubles the collection

In 1930, CBS Library was the beneficiary of a major donation of about 2500 books on economy, politics, and cultural history. The donation almost doubled the library collection, which now comprised 5500 books. The books came out of the estate of Christopher Hage (1848-1930), a merchant and one time Minister of Finance (1901-05). From the 1890s and at the behest of financier C.F. Tietgen, Hage was responsible for the compilation of Haandbog i Handelsvidenskab (Handbook of Commercial Science) which formed part of the curriculum at the business school. You can still find some of Christopher Hage´s books that carry his signature on the titel sheet in the CBS Library collection. One of them is the Principles of Political Economy (6. edition) from 1869, a classic work authored by John Stuart Mill in 1848, whom Christopher Hage discussed in his dissertation, for which he won a gold medal. 

Christopher Hage og en af de bøger han donerede til Handelshøjskolens Bibliotek

Print of title sheet carrying Hage's signature
Photo: Laurberg, J.R.M. (fotograf, 7.9.1856-26.6.1925) (s.a.). Christopher Hage

Moving to a new home

In 1939, the library as well as the reading room moved to new and attractive facilities on Julius Thomsens Plads 10, 5th floor. These photos below are available from the Royal Library digital collections.

Gamle fotografier fra Julius Thomsens Plads

Photo: Damgaard, Holger (.1870-1945) (1935) Handelshøjskolen
Photo: Damgaard, H. (1870-1945) (1900-1945) Julius Thomsens Plads

The following resources were used for this article: 

Årsberetninger fra Handelshøjskolen. (1930-1939) Find in Libsearch 

Jacobsen, K., & Ravn Sørensen, A. (2017). CBS gennem 100 år. (1. udgave. 1. oplag.). Historika. Find in Libsearch

Larsen, Knud (1943). Biblioteksorientering for Handelshøjskolens studerende. Einar Harcks Forlag.

Anschutz, R. Paul (2021, May 16). John Stuart Mill. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Christopher Hage. (2019, June 7). Wikipedia.

Read on

You may also want to check out:
CBS Library celebrates 100 years (about the early days in the 1920s)
CBS Library in the 1940s 
CBS Library in the 1950s 
CBS Library in the 1960s 
CBS Library in the 1970s 
CBS Library in the 1980s 
CBS Library in the 1990s 
CBS Library in the noughties

Sidst opdateret: CBS Library // 19/01/2023