In the 19. century the Classen Library was a significant and wealthy research library with public access. The library was established in 1795 with its own building by Peder Hersleb Classen (1738-1825) on the basis of the book collection from his elder brother Johan Frederik Classen (1725-92) - an extremely rich cannon factory owner. The focus of the library was the natural and agricultural sciences and with plentiful, private funds at disposal the library collection developed through the century to contain many of the finest works of the era within its subject categories.
In 1863 the library was closed down and the collections divided between the two existing subject relevant research libraries - the majority transferred to the University Library and the rest to the Agricultural Library. The agricultural collections (1795 works in 3575 volumes) came to this library in 1869 and in 1871 also a supplement of 2000 duplicates already being in the University Library. These works were registred in 3 of the 13 big catalogues from the Classen Library.
All books are marked with the coat of arms of Classen showing swans and cannon balls reflected in four sections.
The Agricultural University was established at Frederiksberg in 1858 and the basis of the library was the former Veterinary School now needing a supplement of the collections within agriculture. The donation from the Classen Library was a fantastic supplement because this collection was significant within agriculture - including horticulture and forestry.
Many of the treasures in the library dating from the 18. and 19. centuries originate from the Classen Library - i.e. several spectacular illustrated works.
Below examples of plates showing flora and fauna from some of these works.
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