Theodor Fontane Archive - new TYPO3 appearance and access to the digital archives

The Initial Situation

The Theodor Fontane Archive is a literary archive, research institute and place of preservation all in one. The numerous original manuscripts of Fontane, which are kept here, are of particular interest for research purposes. These and other important collections of documents have been and are being digitized step by step.

The Archive wanted a new website where these digital collections could be made available online to researchers and other literature enthusiasts around the world. In addition to providing access to the online archives, the new website should serve as an information and communication platform more than before and - in the spirit of Theodor Fontane - convey a cosmopolitan, innovative image.

Our Approach

Fontane archive can do a lot and wants a lot - the focus of the relaunch was to make the extensive range of services available to the very different user groups as effortlessly as possible and to position itself as a serious and at the same time innovative institution.

For us, these requirements opened up an exciting field of tension between classical literature and modern information presentation, which had to be met in terms of design and user guidance. Special emphasis was placed on the integration of interfaces to the databases of the digital collections, which were to be explored and displayed as uniformly as possible.

The Implementation

  • The design is classical according to the archived material, but surprises with its light and flexible structure and bold colours.

  • Dynamic news, integrated social feeds and various entry options invite users to immerse themselves in the manifold world of Theodor Fontane.

  • Varied content elements together with a dynamic grid enable the editorial staff to create a lively yet consistent page design and content preparation.

  • The digital collections - including the manuscript collection, the bibliography and the "fontane sheets" - can easily be accessed via a high-performance search or a hierarchical structure.

Prominent presentation and direct access to the digital archives on the homepage.
A clear introduction to the digital manuscript collection.
Display of the digital archive contents with various view and filter options.
Design elements on the foreground and background level create space and depth.
Together with the flexibly usable grid, the set of content elements enables a varied and relaxed page structure. Even with a lot of text.

Project details

  • URL:
  • Customer: Theodor Fontane Archive
  • Branch: Kultur
  • Realisation: Launch of the basic version in February 2019
  • Technology: TYPO3 Version 8.7, ElasticSearch
  • Work: Consulting, conception, design, technical realization, ongoing support and further development