Names and maps
The care and expansion of the archives serve two purposes. Firstly, the archives must fulfil its function as the Danish national onomastic documentation centre. And, secondly, the archives must contain the whole amount of source material from the past as well as the present necessary for a scientific examination of the names.
The place-name collections
The Section's place-name collections contain name forms from the oldest runic inscriptions to modern recordings but some periods are better covered than other. All surviving place-name records from the Middle Ages (i.e. the period prior to 1513) are housed in both an alphabetically ordered as well as a chronologically ordered collection. The same place-name records are also to be found in a topographical collection, together with a selection of post-medieval name forms. The last collection is placed in numbered, topographical order according to hundred (herred) and parish (sogn).
Names of topographical features are primarily registered together with field-names in a special, topographically ordered collection, the Field-Name Collection, which contains records of names from the preliminary surveys for the Land Register of 1688, cadastral maps from c. 1800, as well as orally transmitted recordings from especially the 20th century. There are minor collections of e.g. names of fairways and waters, also arranged topographically.
The Section houses a substantial collection of Scandinavian names and name elements from the Viking-Age colonies in England and Normandy. There is also an important collection of Faroese place-names, albeit a copy of the original material which was handed over to Fróðskaparsetur Føroya in 1991 as a gift.
The personal name collections
The collection of medieval personal names is divided into two sections: forenames (including patronyms) and by-names (including surnames). The collections are arranged alphabetically by name. Forms of the same name, however, are ordered chronologically. The sources for this collection are primarily medieval diplomas. The collection formed the basis for the published edition of Danmarks gamle Personnavne I-II by Marius Kristensen, Gunnar Knudsen og Rikard Hornby (1936-64), although this publication by no means contains the total amount of name forms.
The post-medieval collection of personal names is still in the process of being built up. This collection, which contains all types of personal names, has been excerpted from a number of major 16th- and 17th-century sources.
The modern collection of personal names consists mainly of extracts of forenames and surnames from the CPR-Register (Central Office of Civil Registration) acquired by the Institute in the course of the years from the Danish Statistical Office.
The map collections
The Section has a substantial collection of maps. The map collection contains, e.g. the printed Royal Danish Academy maps from the late 18th-early 19th centuries and photographs of the draft maps for this series, along with photographs of the above-mentioned cadastral maps from c. 1800. There is also a complete collection of sea charts, several complete collections of the maps produced by the National Survey and Cadastre at various scales. The Section has also a complete coverage of Denmark in topographical maps at several different scales on CD-ROM.
Additionally, there are a number of maps of areas outside the borders of present-day Denmark with place-names of Danish origin. There are e.g. older and newer maps of South Schleswig and several maps from Skåne. Most of Britain is covered by Ordnance Survey map series as well as geological maps at varying scales. For Normandy there is a set of maps from c. 1900. Furthermore, the Section possesses a collection of ordnance survey maps of the Faroe Islands.