Theodor Fontane Archive

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Villa Quandt on the Pfingstberg in Potsdam

The Theodor Fontane Archive is a scientific institution of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Potsdam , located in the Villa Quandt in Potsdam . The focus of his work as a literary archive is on the person and work of the writer Theodor Fontane . It is a protected cultural asset under the Hague Convention . The Theodor Fontane Archive was included in the Federal Government's Blue Book in 2001 as a cultural memorial site of particular national importance .

The task of the archive is to collect manuscripts, literature and other media on Fontane and his time, to make them accessible and to make publications and events accessible to researchers and the public through a reference library. As a joint publication organ of the Theodor Fontane Archive and the Theodor Fontane Gesellschaft e. V. the magazine Fontane Blätter appears every six months .


The Theodor Fontane Archive was founded in 1935 as a literature archive for the Province of Brandenburg. The foundation was preceded by the purchase of the Fontane estate, which is still in the family's possession, by the Brandenburg Provincial Administration.

The Theodor Fontane Archive began collecting activities immediately after it was founded and was able to expand its holdings considerably until the war years. In the last year of the war, the relocation resulted in substantial losses of stocks, the whereabouts of which have not yet been clarified.

After 1948, the Fontane Archive was continued as a department of the State and University Library Brandenburg, since 1969 as a department of the German State Library Berlin (GDR). In the years after 1989, the impending dissolution of the Fontane Archive was averted by its re-establishment as an independent institution of the state of Brandenburg. Since 1992 it has been able to distinguish itself as a nationally important literary archive through its scientific work and considerable acquisitions, and its collections have been expanded considerably.

Since 2007, the archive has been part of the Brandenburg State Main Archive. In the same year it moved into the Villa Quandt on Potsdamer Pfingstberg, which was renovated for use by the archive. On July 1, 2014, the Theodor Fontane Archive was affiliated to the University of Potsdam as a scientific institution of the Philosophical Faculty.


  • 1935–1945 (?): Hermann Fricke
  • 1950–1980: Joachim Schobeß
  • 1980–1987: Otfried Keiler
  • 1987–1995: Manfred Horlitz
  • 1996: Peter Schaefer (acting head)
  • 1996-March 2017: Hanna Delf von Wolhaben
  • since April 2017: Peer Trilcke


The manuscript collection of the Theodor Fontane Archive currently comprises several thousand sheets of original Fontane manuscripts, including

  • the fragmentary legacy of novels and stories,
  • Excerpts from the walks through the Mark Brandenburg
  • Manuscripts of poems, reviews and essays
  • the diaries and household books

The archive also has letters from and to Fontane and Fontane's peripheral letters. In addition, the archive collection contains around 12,000 sheets of transcripts and copies of some of Fontane's manuscripts, some of which have been lost.

In addition to the partial legacy of Fontane, the Theodor Fontane Archive also contains other personal papers and personal papers who are related to the development and research of his work and his time, in particular the archive of the publishing house F. Fontane &, run by Fontane's son Friedrich Co. to call.

After all, the Theodor Fontane Archive has a collection of around 1,500 image documents (photographs, paintings, prints), including portraits of Fontane at different ages and photographs of his family or of role models for his characters in the novel.

The first prints and first editions of Fontane's works as well as the 148 volumes from Fontane's own library are particularly valuable parts of the library holdings in the Theodor Fontane Archive.

The manuscript collection and the library holdings of the Theodor Fontane Archive are continuously expanded through continuous acquisition.


  • Manfred Horlitz (Ed.): Theodor Fontane Archive Potsdam 1935-1995. Reports, documents, reminders. Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-9801998-7-8
  • Manfred Horlitz (ed.): Missing holdings of the Theodor Fontane Archive. Potsdam 1999, ISBN 3-9807348-0-3
  • Theodor Fontane Archive Potsdam. The Christian Andree Fontane Collection (= Patrimonia 142). Kulturstiftung der Länder, Berlin 1998.
  • Catalog of the Fontane Collection Christian Andree (= Patrimonia 142a). Kulturstiftung der Länder, Berlin 1999.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Homepage of the Theodor Fontane Archive
  2. See editorial . In: Fontane Blätter , No. 63 (1997), p. 5f., Here p. 5.
  3. The largest part of Fontane's prose estate is in the Stadtmuseum Berlin; see. Christel Laufer: The handwritten estate of Theodor Fontanes . In: Fontane Blätter , No. 20 (1974), pp. 264-287, here pp. 268f. and 279.