PROPYLÄEN. Forschungsplattform zu Goethes Biographica

Briefwechsel, Tagebücher, Begegnungen und Gespräche. Chronologie. Quellen. Recherche. Fokus.

“It is only on the step, in the gateway, the entrance, the vestibule, the space between the outside and the inner chamber, between the sacred and the common, that we may ordinarily tarry with our friends.”

With these words Goethe paraphrases the title of his journal “Propylaea”, which he edited from 1798 to 1800. The title is a programmatic statement: the journal is meant to be a place of exchange, of integration and communication between the like-minded. The new research project “PROPYLÄEN. Research platform on Goethe’s Biographica” wants to be understood in this very sense: The project includes editions of Goethe’s diaries, his correspondence as well as his encounters and discussions with his contemporaries (“Begegnungen und Gespräche”). In addition to this, it offers detailed annotations to the texts. All this shall be presented in a non-restricted open-access online platform.

Partners of the project are the Weimar Classics Foundation/Goethe and Schiller Archive, the Saxonian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig and the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. The working place where the Goethe editions are being developed is the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar on the authority of Weimar Classics Foundation and the Saxonian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig. The technical implementation of the project is being worked on by the colleagues of the Academy of Sciences in Mainz.

There are two major aims of the project: first of all, the editions of Goethe’s diaries, his correspondence and his encounters and discussions are to be pursued and completed as printed volumes. Secondly, the online platform shall offer new approaches to the texts and give access to digital images of all autographs and their transcriptions. Furthermore, the texts, annotations and registers are to be linked up with each other so that the user will be able to choose between different search functions so that s/he can restructure the research results for her/his own needs. The electronic platform allows to integrate additional digital resources and works.

The project will run for 25 years. Within this time frame the printed versions of the Goethe editions will continually be published in chronological order and gradually be accessible online in keeping with copyrights regulatio


  • Dr. Bernhard Fischer (Project Leader)
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Manger (Project Leader)
  • Prof. Dr. Ernst Osterkamp (Project Leader)
  • Anne-Marie Düfert (Research Associate)
  • Dr. Renate Grumach
  • Frauke Stange-Methfessel (Research Associate)
  • Max Grüntgens (Research Associate)


Dr. Bernhard Fischer
📧 gsa[at]
Dr. Yvonne Pietsch
📧 yvonne.pietsch[at]
Running time
Project type

Responsible for the academies' programme

Sebastian Zwies M.A.

Geschäftsstelle Mainz
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 2
55131 Mainz

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