The publishers Steiner and Haslinger harbored the plan of a complete edition of Beethoven's works for a long time. They had the first works of the master copied on large folio pages at great expense. After one or two works had been engraved the publishers suddenly were terrified by the magnitude of the task and decided to discontinue the enterprise. The already completed copies were bought by Archduke Rudolf but with the condition that the remainder of Beethoven's entire work would be copied on such folio pages. This total work fills more than thirty large volumes and today is owned by the Society of Friends of Music, Vienna.
TITLE PAGE OF THE COMPLETE EDITION, MANUSCRIPT
ONE OF THE FIRST PAGES OF THE COMPLETE EDITION, MANUSCRIPT The Beethoven signature is of his own hand
TITLE PAGE OF "FIDELIO" OF THE COMPLETE EDITION, MANUSCRIPT
FIRST PAGE OF THE STRING QUARTET IN E FLAT MAJOR, opus 74, OF THE COMPLETE EDITION, MANUSCRIPT