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

Beethoven Letters

The sections on this page highlight the Music Division's unique collections of letters specific to Beethoven.

Letters by Beethoven

The Music Division holds 29 letters of Beethoven's handwritten letters to others. The physical letters live in several different places in the Music Division's collections, a reflection of how they were acquired. Search for them using the following information:

Individuals to whom Beethoven wrote letters found in the Music Division's collections are:

  • Karl Amenda
  • Karl van Beethoven (brother)
  • Josef Blöchlinger
  • Breitkopf und Härtel (publisher)
  • Chevalier Josef de Varena
  • Count Franz von Brunswick
  • Tobias Haslinger
  • Karl Holz
  • Theodor Körner
  • Moritz Lichnowsky
  • Pietro Mechetti
  • Philipp Pribyll
  • Carl August Reichardt,
  • Friedrich Treitschke
  • Johannes Andreas Streicher
  • Nicholas Zmeskall von Domanowitz

In addition, one letter in the Music Division's collections was dictated by Beethoven but written onto paper by Karl Holz. This title links to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

Search the Music Treasures Consortium Digital Collection to view and download scans of the 19 letters from Beethoven acquired through the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Foundation. Request and view letters that have not been scanned in the Performing Arts Reading Room.

Correspondence Concerning Beethoven

Correspondence not from nor to Beethoven, but centered on him, demonstrates the richness of research materials on the composer held in the Music Division. Some examples of collections with correspondence concerning Beethoven are:

Search for additional correspondence using the Library's Finding Aids Tool, which searches across multiple finding aids.

Published Beethoven Correspondence

Much of Beethoven's correspondence has been transcribed, annotated, and published. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available. They offer a representative, but not exhaustive, list of modern publications of this correspondence.