Collection Highlights


Original Beethoven manuscripts and documents

Includes a musical sketch leaf entirely in Beethoven's hand, several letters, a leaf from a household account books, and J. C. Bach edition from Beethoven's library.

Other manuscripts from Beethoven's time

Includes copyists’ scores used for performance and study of his music before printed editions were available.

First editions of Beethoven's music

The largest collection in North America, including an early printing (probably a proof copy) of the Piano Sonatas, Opus 2, nos. 1-3 from 1796

Other editions of Beethoven's music and his contemporaries

Includes early editions of individual works by publishers in Paris and London and collected editions from the 19th and 20th centuries. Of a small score collection of music by Beethoven's contemporaries, Daniel Steibelt is particularly well-represented.


Beethoven ProfileIncludes rare books and periodicals; biographies and scholarly monographs; collections of essays and conference papers, master's theses and doctoral dissertations; fiction, drama, and poetry; children's books; and much more.

The William S. Newman Collection

Encompasses the library of Beethoven books and scores of renowned Beethoven scholar William S. Newman, musicologist and emeritus professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Beethoven on Beethoven.

 Historical keyboard instruments

Close up of historical keyboardIncludes two original fortepianos from Beethoven's time, and playable replica of a Dulcken fortepiano, a clavichord, and a harpsichord.


A photocopy archive of articles on Beethoven published in both music and non-music journals.

Microfilms and photocopies

Beethoven's sketches and autographs owned by other libraries, available for study at the Center, including the complete collection of Beethoven manuscripts located at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.


Beethoven PaintingA growing library of sound recordings and videos, including The Blakeley Collection.

Art that portrays Beethoven, Vienna, and his times

Painting of a skylineIncludes engravings and sculpture from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Archives and ephemera

Includes newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, posters, and other merchandise using Beethoven's image or music in their design.