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Beethoven: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at the Library of Congress

One of the most significant composers of the 19th century, Ludwig van Beethoven is well represented in the print, manuscript, and digital collections of the Library’s Music Division.


Ludwig van Beethoven. 1945. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Access the Music Division's substantial primary and secondary resources for the composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) in the Performing Arts Reading Room and online. These materials include music manuscripts, facsimiles, first and early editions of music scores, critical editions, scholarly literature on Beethoven, correspondence, special collections, iconography, and access to a variety of subscription databases.

Navigate the different kinds of materials available by using the sections of this research guide. Find these materials by searching in the Library of Congress Online Catalog, browsing the Library's Digital Collections, searching within Special Collections using the Finding Aids Tool, searching within the many Databases and Electronic Resources to which the Library subscribes, or browsing the Music Division's on-site card catalog. Several of the Library's databases are available off-site, but many may only be accessed on-site at the Library or via your local public or academic library.

Read published content related to and highlighting Beethoven materials and research in the Library's collections in the Music Division's blog In the Muse.

Contact the Recorded Sound Research Center or the Moving Image Research Center for information on recordings and filmed footage.

(Re)Hearing Beethoven Festival - November 20 - December 17, 2020

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Concerts from the Library of Congress has developed a series of ear-opening encounters with all nine symphonies, presented in solo, duo and chamber versions. Due to the pandemic we have decided to offer our Beethoven programming virtually, so you can expect to see a constellation of online content built around the cynosure of Beethoven’s music, from performances and lectures to conversations and essays.

View the full schedule on the Concerts from the Library of Congress website.