As a research institution, the Theodor Fontane Archive carries out projects in literary, media and cultural studies, researches questions in the archival sciences and in the practice of archival mediation and compiles editions.
In the Fontane Blätter and the monograph series Fontaneana—edited together with the Theodor Fontane Society for more than half a century—the archive has provided a forum for Fontane scholarship. The organization of symposiums, congresses, workshops, and lectures support the archives aspirations to be a central venue and important forum for discussions of national and international Fontane scholarship. Furthermore, the archive compiles editions of Fontane’s works, manuscripts and letters.
Since 2017, the archive has expedited its research into the digital transformation of literary archives. In cooperation with the Network for Digital Humanities at the University of Potsdam a research focus on Digital Literary Archives was established, which has itself differentiated into several research fields.
Along with the research projects into its own private collections—for instance the current project on the collection of Fontane’s reference library —the archive also continuously compiles research publications and editions.