The library of the Beethoven-Haus is a scientific library and music library serving special purposes related to Ludwig van Beethoven's biography, oeuvre and impact. The library owns more than 80,000 items (sheet music, books, essays, articles, magazines, audio and audiovisual media). Reproductions of manuscripts from other libraries (more than 6,000 photographs and microfilms) as well as the original proprietary collections of the Beethoven-Haus (about 10,000 autographs, pictures and images, instruments, objects and files) complement the library’s inventory.
The Beethoven-Haus library collects literature, music supplies and audio media about and related to Beethoven and his surroundings from the early beginning until today. The entire inventory is listed in catalogues and the library also maintains a digital archive. Regarding the acquisition, protection, indexing and digitalisation of the inventory, particular focus is set on first and early prints and Beethoven's own library.
The Beethoven-Haus library is open to the public for free. The whole inventory can be used on request in the reading room.
The opening hours are Mondays to Fridays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
As the number of places available in the reading room is limited, we kindly ask you to register in advance either in written to
Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Bibliothek
Bonngasse 24-26, 53111 Bonn, Germany,
Phone at +49 228/98175-12 or -13
or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the library holdings
- Library catalogue (search for literature, music scores, facsimile editions and audio-visual materials; 66,400 titles)
- Catalogue for autographs (search for music manuscripts, letters and other hand written documents; 3,000 titles)
- Catalogue for pictures (search for pictures, sculptures, music instruments and other objects; 5,000 titles)
- Press catalogue (search for articles from the daily press concerning the topic Beethoven; 12,100 titles)
In the reading room of the library you have access to additional catalogues (reproductions of manuscript sources and files of the Beethoven-Haus Association).
- Early editions of Beethoven's works in chamber music arrangements
- Early editions of string quartets during Beethoven's lifetime
- Rolls for player piano and organ (Collection Martin Schøyen)
- Rolls for reproducing piano
- Works by Beethoven on vinyl records (Collection Martin Schøyen)
- Recordings of Beethoven's works (Collection Klaus Steltmann)
Digital Archives:The Digital Archives provide systematic access to the digitised holdings of the Beethoven-Haus. Besides images and bibliographic information rich audio and text data, search tools and index browsing are available.
The reading room of the library also offers access to images with higher resolution.
Links:For additional information and search tools, please see our link list
How to order
2. Scans, printouts and copies for non-commercial use can be ordered with costs from the library of the Beethoven-Haus:
Digitised media and printouts that a user has obtained by ordering may not be used as a master for printing, be reproduced, posted on the Internet or transferred to third parties.
3. Of each publication for which the ordered material served as a working basis, the customer agrees to send an author copy free of charge to the following address:
Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Bibliothek, Bonngasse 24-26, 53111 Bonn, Germany
4. Prices and terms of delivery
- Digitised inventory:
The price for a file (image) with high resolution (600 respectively 400 dpi) is 2 Euro.
- Non-digitised inventory:
The price for a file (image) with medium resolution (150 dpi, black-and-white) is 50 Cent.
The price for a file (image) with a resolution of 300 dpi is 1 Euro.
For each order a one-time processing fee of 10 Euro is charged.
The stated prices are final prices, including the legal VAT, plus charges for postage and packaging.
Payment is due after receipt of the order confirmation. Once the payment has been received, the order will be shipped to the customer.
Phone: +49 228-98175-38
Among these purposes is in particular the use of digitised items as a master for printed publications, as a PDF file, app, eBook for download and to integrate and display them in electronic disks and paid offers on websites that are intended primarily for business or commercial use.
The corresponding fees vary depending on purpose and are in line with the typical charges for using photographs and images as determined by the German Mittelstandsgemeinschaft Foto-Marketing. The fee includes the charges for the ordered file.
New acquisitions 2018/2, August bis December
New acquisitions 2018/1, January to July
New acquisitions 2017/2, July to December
New acquisitions 2017/1, January to June
New acquisitions 2016/2, June to December
New acquisitions 2016/1, January to May
Questions concerning Beethoven's mind and the mind-set of his environment are always present. In order to study Beethoven's knowledge in detail, his library shall be reconstructed. The most important sources for this endeavour are auction and assessments reports, letters, conversation booklets, diaries, notes, composition masters and utterances of his contemporaries. Read more
The reconstruction of Beethoven's library has the aim to:
- identify all books and sheet music the composer ever read, studied, copied, extracted, put to music, owned, borrowed and lent, gave away, planned to buy or discussed in conversations,
- identify the editions and issues as well as to acquire parallel copies,
- present them in the library and the Digital Archive of the Beethoven-Haus and add them to the library catalogue and describe and annotate them in the Digital Archive and in printed publications.
The whole collection will comprise an estimated 800 titles. The library catalogue informs about the actual number of holdings, while the list of desired titles contains the missing ones.
By adopting a book, numerous friends of the Beethoven-Haus have been supporting the reconstruction of the library. Here you also can find lists with books waiting for adoption and books acquired thanks to adoptions.