One of the Beethoven-Archiv's most important tasks is editing the new complete edition of Beethoven's works (Gesamtausgabe). It is published by G. Henle Verlag, the first volume appeared in 1961. The editions are edited by employees of the Beethoven-Archiv as well as external editors from all over the world. In the process, all the available sources are consulted, including Beethoven's autographs, the copies checked by the composer, as well as the original editions published during his lifetime. The editorial guidelines (in German) provides important information for all the editors.
The aim is to provide a scholarly-critical text which reflects Beethoven's intentions as closely as possible and which also takes into account aspects of musical practice. Sources, their states, variants and other differences are described in Critical Commentaries which accompany each volume fo music.
It should comprise 56 volumes, of which about two thirds have already been published. They will encompass all of Beethoven's completed compositions, including the early versions and authentic arrangements; in addition the larger fragments and more extensive sketches.