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

Music Manuscripts and Facsimiles

The Music Division holds several music manuscripts specific to Beethoven. The sections on this page describe the Music Division's unique holdings: Beethoven's holograph manuscripts and sketches for his own works, printed scores with the composer's own edits, manuscript arrangements of Beethoven's works by others, and facsimile reproductions of Beethoven manuscripts held by other institutions.

How to Find Holograph Manuscripts by Beethoven

The Music Division holds over a dozen music manuscripts and sketches in Beethoven's own hand. The physical manuscripts 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:

Some of the Music Division's most important manuscripts include sketches for the third and fourth movements of the op. 106 "Hammerklavier" piano sonata. No complete manuscript in Beethoven's hand exists for the work, and the Music Division holds eight pages of sketches from the piece's third and fourth movements. The Music Division also holds the complete manuscript for the Piano sonata in E major, op. 109, as well as several sketches for the first and final movements of the op. 131 string quartet.

Holograph Manuscripts by Beethoven

The following Beethoven manuscripts have been scanned and made available to search, view, and download through the Library's Digital Collections. View scans of these manuscripts using the following links:

Manuscript scores:

Manuscript sketches:

The Music Division holds two other holograph sketches that warrant additional explanation:

Search for additional and related manuscripts held by other institutions in the Music Treasures Consortium Digital Collection. See also the "Databases and External Resources" page of this research guide for more information of locating scanned manuscripts held by other institutions.

Request and view items that have not been scanned in the Performing Arts Reading Room.

Other Materials in Beethoven's Hand

The Music Division's collections include several items that are not holograph manuscripts of Beethoven's works, but do include material written in his hand:

Request and view items that have not been scanned in the Performing Arts Reading Room.

Manuscript Arrangements of Beethoven by Others

The Music Division has several manuscript arrangements of Beethoven's works from during or within several decades of his lifetime, particularly by the composer Franz Liszt:

Find these and additional items by searching in the Library's Online Catalog.

Other Manuscript Material

One significant manuscript, although not in Beethoven's hand, is worth mentioning: an orchestral work by the the American composer Anthony Philip Heinrich.

Facsimiles

The Music Division holds several facsimile reproductions of Beethoven holograph manuscripts held by other institutions, such as:

Find more facsimiles by searching in the Library's Online Catalog or by browsing the catalog under the call number ML96.5 B44.