The scholarly activities of the Beethoven-Archiv lie primarily in the editorial field, as befits its role as an archive. Its projects include the scholarly-critical complete edition of Beethoven's works, the complete edition of Beethoven's correspondence (both published by G. Henle Publishers, Munich), a selected edition of his sketches (publication series I) and a facsimile series of selected manuscripts (publication series III),see Beethoven-Haus Publishers Bonn). In addition, it also supports and participates in several projects of a bibliographical and biographical nature.
While the collection and preservation of sources surrounding Beethoven's life and works is laid down in the constitutions, the goals of the scholarly activities are not. This means that the institute is able to respond more flexibly to questions and issues arising in Beethoven research and also to seize new initiatives. With the publication series IV (publications concerning Beethoven research, mongraphs) and V (Beethoven studies, essays) it has created forums which can also be accessed by external scholars.
The Beethoven-Archiv organizes various academic functions (conferences, lectures and exhibitions) as the occasion arises and participates in external undertakings. To a limited extent it also acts in an advisory capacity to external scholars and invites communication.
As a member of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung (German Musicological Society), the Beethoven-Archiv belongs to the group of independent research institutes.