The principle aims of the database are:
- to bring together bibliographical information of all significant Beethoven materials dating from the late eighteenth century to the present through the creation of a dedicated database;
- to improve access to information on Beethoven by providing in-depth subject analysis of the literature from all fields and abstracts or content notes;
- to create ease of access to bibliographic information by adding indexes of works, genres, and other desirable access points;
- to create, maintain, and disseminate a thesaurus of terms and guidelines for using the database;
- to provide information on locations of primary research materials through the thesaurus and the database itself;
- to make the database freely available worldwide on the Internet.
The database does not yet provide full text of articles or books, although links from Beethoven Gateway to full text databases is planned. See the summaries of current content and development for more information.