LIFE & WORK NEWS Fairytale manuscripts on the Internet

Hans Christian Andersen's original manuscripts specially scanned into digital form for the Internet.

By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 15 September 2003

You may now peruse - both here on this portal and on the homepage of Odense City Museums - a selection of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales in their original, handwritten manuscripts.

The collection of fairytale manuscripts belongs to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, and they have been specially scanned in for use on the Internet. This will allow users to read Hans Christian Andersen's original handwriting and compare it to the printed text, as it looks in the Arkiv for Dansk Litteratur [Danish Literature Archive].

In addition, with the click of a mouse, users may flip through the pages and obtain brief, factual information about the manuscript and how the fairytale came to be written.

Gothic script
It will be difficult for most people to read Hans Christian Andersen's writing. German Gothic script in general and Hans Christian Andersen's hand in particular require a lot of getting used to. 

Nevertheless, it is not solely for the benefit of Hans Christian Andersen scholars that the manuscripts have been made available but for everyone interested in experiencing the very special feeling that comes from being close to the creative process of the author.
The preserved manuscripts are a crucial foundation for the new edition of Hans Christian Andersen's known works to be published in connection with HCA2005. 

"Of course, neither digital nor printed copies can replace the original manuscripts, but when it comes to quality, cost, accessibility and conservation, the digital version contains, logically enough, significant advantages," says museum keeper for Odense City Museums, Ane Grum-Schwensen.

Putting the fairytale manuscripts out on the Internet is part of an extensive series of publications aimed at shedding light on Hans Christian Andersen's life and works in connection with Hans Christian Andersen's 200th birthday in 2005.

The work is being coordinated with similar initiatives by the Danish Royal Library and the Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark, and it is only possible thanks to financial support from the HCA2005 Foundation.

You will find the manuscripts here!