As part of the research initiative, the TFA.LAB will be used to set up a humanities laboratory, which will exemplify innovative forms of collaboration and experimental research in the humanities. As an institution that already brings together different forms of expertise - such as archival, library, and philological editions - the Theodor-Fontane-Archive is a particularly suitable place for the establishment of an interdisciplinary laboratory.
Traditionally an institution for the collection and maintenance of (material) objects, the archive can now be considered an excellent place for the digital humanities. At the heart of the TFA.LAB are the digital projects of the Theodor Fontane Archive itself, including digital collections, a bibliography database, the development of a prototype for the experimental visualization of Fontane's reference library and the text analysis project »Distant Reading Fontane«. For those involved in the network, the TFA.LAB provides a vantage point to learn about project work in a humanities laboratory as well as about the technological and practical challenges and solutions that arise in course of this work.
Following the idea of humanities laboratories, the TFA.LAB also combines research and teaching. In this context, workshops and seminars will be held, in which students will be introduced to questions and methods of the digital humanities. The lab will give students and researchers the opportunity to take the first steps in this experimental field. In addition, we are building interdisciplinary teaching networks with other institutes, such as the Faculty of Arts or with the FH Potsdam.
The TFA.Lab was opened with a philological hackathon named »The Fontane-Code« that took place from the 19th to the 21st of July 2018 in the Villa Quandt, the base of the Theodor-Fontane-Archives. Teams from Potsdam, Stuttgart, Basel and Göttingen, as well as participants from Austria, the U.S. and Russia worked on Fontane data during the hackathon. A publication with selected results is planned. You can find impressions of the hackathon on Twitter under the hashtag #fontanecode .