We are a literary archiv and an academic institute in the faculty of arts at the Unversity of Potsdam. Theodor Fontane (1819-1898), his time and his contemporaries form the core of our work. Founded in 1935, the archive resides in the Villa Quandt at the foot of the Potsdam Pfingstberg. Our team of literary and cultural scientists, archivists, librarians, and student workers render services in everything Fontane and Fontane research, complete research projects and host cultural events.  

Scope of Operations

Literary Archive

Established out of Fontane’s literary estate, the Theodor Fontane Archive commands over a comprehensive inventory of manuscripts, documents and realia, which has been continuously augmented through acquisitions and expanded through reception certificates. Moreover, we command over a constantly augmented library with nearly all literature to and from Fontane.


Collections & Holdings

Research Institute

As a scientific institution we conduct foundational research, compile bibliographies, editions, and research publications, and invite to symposiums and congresses. In cooperation with universities and research institutes in the region, we perform experiments with an emphasis lying inter alia in the field of digitalisation from literary archives and Digital Humanities. 



Cultural Institution

As a memory institution and meeting place for Theodor Fontane and his time, the archive invites to a diverse cultural educations and experience offerings for Fontane newcomers and fontane experts. We organise tours, lectures, workshops for pupils and students, readings and discussions in the Villa Quandt at the foot of Potsdam's Pfingstberg.

Cultural Institution

About the Fontane Archive


Since its founding in 1935, the Theodor Fontane Archive has had a chequered history in the Third Reich, in the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany. Here, we introduce you to a few stations of this German-German history.



The Theodor Fontane team is composed of experienced Fontane experts and engaged up-and-coming scientists. You can meet the faces of the archive here. 


Theodor Fontane Archive Team


The Theodor Fontane Archive offers numerous services: from support in research and publication, and work in our reading room, to releases for photo rights.


Digitale Dienste


2006 erschien in 3 Bänden die von Wolfgang Rasch erarbeitete »Fontane Bibliographie«. Die aktualisierte und erweiterte Bibliographie steht seit 2019 als Online-Datenbank zur Verfügung.

Fontane Bibliographie


Das Theodor-Fontane-Archiv hat sämtliche seiner Handschriftenbestände digitalisiert. In der digitalen Handschriften-Sammlung stellen wir diese Bestände sukzessive online.

Digitale Handschriftensammlung


Fontanes Briefe gelten als bedeutende Zeugnisse und als Werke eigener Güte. Die »Fontane Briefdatenbank« setzt eine jahrzehntelange Verzeichnungsarbeit digital fort.


Fontane Blätter

Über 50. Jahrgänge der seit 1965 vom Archiv herausgegebenen Zeitschrift »Fontane Blätter« sind gemeinsam mit der UB Potsdam digitalisiert worden, neue Hefte kommen laufend hinzu.

Fontane Blätter digital


Die 2010 publizierte »Fontane Chronik« von Roland Berbig hält zu über 20.000 Tagen in Fontanes Leben Informationen parat. Seit 2021 führt das Fontane-Archiv die Chronik digital fort.


Fontanes Bibliothek

In einem Forschungsprojekt mit dem UCLab der Fachhochschule Potsdam ist ein Prototyp einer interaktiven Visualisierung von Theodor Fontanes Handbibliothek entstanden.

Interaktive Visualisierung der Handbibliothek