Digital Services

Convinced by Open Data and Open Access ideas, the Theodor Fontane Archive has been supplementing its service offerings with digital services since 2019 – thereby turning into a Digital Archive. Our holdings, indexing and metadata, as well as other important research data are thus made available to the public, freely and location-independent. The digital provision of quality-assured knowledge is a process: on the one hand, the existing data holdings are constantly being supplemented, and on the other hand, we are gradually adding additional services.


In 2006, the Fontane Bibliography compiled by Wolfgang Rasch was published in 3 volumes. The updated and expanded bibliography has been available as an online database since 2019.

Fontane Bibliography

Correspondence Database

Fontane’s letters are regarded as important testimonies and as valuable works in their own right. The Fontane Correspondence Database digitally continues decades of cataloguing work.

Correspondence Database


The Fontane Chronicle by Roland Berbig, published in 2010, contains information on over 20,000 days in Fontane’s life. Since 2021, the Fontane Archive has continued the chronicle digitally.



The Theodor Fontane Archive has digitized all of its manuscripts. In the Digital Collection of Manuscripts, we are successively putting these holdings online.

Digital Collection of Manuscripts

The »Fontane Blätter« Journal

More than 50 volumes of the journal Fontane Blätter, which has been published by the archive since 1965, have been digitized in cooperation with the Potsdam University Library, and new issues are being added continuously.

Fontane Blätter

Fontane’s Library

A research project with the UCLab of the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences developed a prototype of an interactive visualization of Theodor Fontane’s reference library.

Interactive visualization of the reference library

Upcoming Digital Services

Library Catalog Online

In cooperation with the »Universitätsbibliothek Potsdam« (Potsdam University Library), the Theodor Fontane Archive is currently preparing the publication of its library catalog as an OPAC. For the time being, limited searches can also be performed in the Fontane Bibliography, where large parts of our library’s holdings are indexed using the »shelfmark« field.

Picture Collection

The archive has a collection of about 2,200 pictorial documents (photographs, paintings, prints), for example portraits of Fontane at different ages and of his family members. In the future, this collection will be digitized and made available on the web.

Further Reading on the Digital Services

Sabine Seifert, Anna Busch, Peer Trilcke: Datenbiographik im Literaturarchiv. Konzept und Umsetzung digitaler Dienste am Theodor-Fontane-Archiv. Conference: DHd2022, Kulturen des digitalen Gedächtnisses, Potsdam, 7.–11.3.2022:

Peer Trilcke, Anna Busch, Sabine Seifert: Vom Ausbau des Digitalen Archivs. Neue digitale Dienste des Theodor-Fontane-Archivs: Chronik und Briefdatenbank, in: Fontane Blätter 111 (2021), pp.  8-16.

Mark-Jan Bludau, Victoria Brüggemann, Anna Busch, Marian Dörk: Reading Traces: Scalable Exploration in Elastic Visualizations of Cultural Heritage Data, in: Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. EuroVis). 39(3), June 2020:

Peer Trilcke: Auf dem Weg zu einem (auch) Digitalen Archiv. Digitale Dienste des Theodor-Fontane-Archivs, in: Fontane Blätter 107 (2019), pp. 98-102.

Anna Busch:Fontane als Leser. Zur Visualisierung von Lektürespuren in Fontanes Handbibliothek, in: Fontane Blätter 107 (2019), pp. 104-131.

Peer Trilcke: Fontane-Bibliographik im digitalen Zeitalter. Bericht und quantitative Analyse zur Fortführung der Theodor Fontane Bibliographie, in: Fontane Blätter 107 (2019), pp. 133-161.

Anna Busch, Mark-Jan Bludau, Viktoria Brüggemann, Kristina Genzel, Sabine Seifert, Peer Trilcke: Scalable Exploration. Prototype study for the visualization of an author’s library on the example of ›Theodor Fontane’s Library‹, Digital Humanities Conference 2019, Utrecht University, 8.–12.07.2019; Book of Abstracts:

Anna Busch, Mark-Jan Bludau, Viktoria Brüggemann, Marian Dörk, Kristina Genzel, Klaus-Peter Möller, Sabine Seifert, Peer Trilcke:  Skalierbare Exploration. Prototypenstudie zur Visualisierung einer Autorenbibliothek am Beispiel der ›Handbibliothek Theodor Fontanes‹, in: Konferenzband zur DHd 2019 Frankfurt & Mainz - Digital Humanities: multimedial & multimodal, 2019.