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Beethoven Center Resources

Guide to the online resources and collections of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose State University

Access to Digital Collections

Home page of Digital Collections

Many of the Beethoven Center’s manuscripts, first and early editions of scores, art materials, and ephemera (such as advertisements and concert programs) are available in the SJSU Digital Collections. In this database, you can search, view, enlarge, download, and print images for research purposes. Use of some images might be restricted; consult the rights statement in the individual records. Publication of the images requires permission from the Beethoven Center.

Searching Digital Collections

To limit your search to Beethoven Collections, click on the Beethoven Collections tile:

Limiting to Beethoven collections only

Use the search window at left to enter keywords for searching all Beethoven collections, or select a specific collection:

Limit to Beethoven collections in facet area

In the search window, you can enter various keywords (subjects, names, work numbers, etc.) and/or you could choose to limit your search by the facets listed at left (such as dates, subjects, format, object type, creator). This example shows date facets. To select the facet, click on the + sign. Your results will then be limited to that date or date range. To remove the facet, click on the – sign. All documents with that date/date range will be eliminated from your results. The facets are listed in order of frequency, so be sure to click on “show more” to see the full list.

Facet example for Beethoven Collections

To revise you facet select, use the breadcrumbs (the series of links that help navigate the site) at the top of the screen.

Navigating with breadcrumbs

The example above shows the breadcrumbs after selecting the “Manuscripts” facet. To remove this selection, click on the x. The breadcrumbs are also handy for navigating back to the general Beethoven Collections page.

For more suggestions on searching in specific collections, see below.

Viewing and Downloading Images

Single-page images

Each item has an image viewer from which you can enlarge, reduce, return to original size, or display in full screen using the buttons in the top left corner:

Image viewer

You can also enlarge or reduce the image simply by moving the mouse cursor in the window.

Click on the Download/Print/Permalink to access any of these options:

Link for downloading

Multi-page images or music in parts

Music scores or other multi-page materials will display in a book reader with which you can flip through pages, with options to display single or multiple pages or scroll to a specific page:

Book viewer in digital collections

The options at the top of the screen allow you to view catalog information, enlarge or reduce the page, display full screen, and download the score as a pdf:

Book reader options

Images for printed music in parts will display at the bottom of the catalog record for the item. To access the part, simply click on the link:

Location of parts in digital collections

Manuscript collections

This collection includes original Beethoven letters and other documents in his hand, copyist manuscripts, and manuscript materials of other people in the Beethoven Center's collections. It is small enough to browse, but you might find it useful to limit your search by facets, which include date, subjects, object types, and creators. Click on this image to access this collection:

Access to manuscript collections

Score Collections

Digitized scores collections include (click on image to access):

Digital first editions of Beethoven's works

Digital early editions of Beethoven's works

Digital scores of composers other than Beethoven

Search suggestions

To narrow your work to specific works, you can either select the genre (such as Symphonies) in the subject facet:

Limiting score searches by genre

Or search for the work by work number (Opus, WoO, etc.), such as “Opus 92” for the Seventh Symphony. BE SURE TO PUT QUOTATION MARKS around your search term to limit it to that phrase, otherwise you’ll retrieve all records with the word “Opus” in the keywords.

If necessary, use the facets to limit your search to the collection you want (e.g. “First Editions”).

Limiting to collection by using facets

Art collections

Digitized art print collections include (click on images for access):

Beethoven portraits in digital collection

Beethoven scupture in digital collections

Beethoven's homes and haunts in digital collections

Maps in Beethoven digital collections

Portraits of other people in Beethoven digital collections

Art works inspired by Beethoven in digital collections


Search suggestions

In addition to names of artists and places, useful keywords for searching these collections include subject of image depicted, such as Beethoven’s “profile,” or image of him “at the piano” in the Beethoven Portraits collection, or “theaters” or “horses” for images of places that include these sights. These can also be selected from the list of subject facets:

example of facets in digital art collections

Rare Books and Ephemera

Click on the images to access these collections:

Digital ephemera collection at Beethoven center

To locate for materials that relate to, or make specific mention of a Beethoven work, search by the work number (e.g. “Opus 125” for the Ninth Symphony), adding quotation marks around your search term.

The Rare Book collection is quite limited at this point but will be growing over the next few years:

Digital rare books at the Beethoven Center