Research in the German Literature Archive Marbach (DLA) encompasses concentrated work on unique archival and library holdings. Philology, literature, the history of ideas, and the history of books and publishing houses are topics one can pursue within the archive. The genesis of ideas and texts, materiality and provenance, and the politics of literature and language are main aspects of text scholarship in the 21st century. German studies, comparative studies, history, and philosophy are also important facets of this discipline. Hermeneutic-critical methods are deployed, as are quantitative analyses of metadata.
The Department of Research supervises the research projects, the cooperation with universities, the research program, and the scholarship program of the German Literature Archive. The scholarship program supports research projects that rely on the holdings of the German Literature Archive Marbach.
Within the framework of the Global Archives, the German Literature Archive Marbach works together with international German Studies and international archives to explore and develop multilingual holdings with a large amount of German-language material. The German Literature Archive Marbach, in cooperation with Israeli partners and the support of the Federal Foreign Office and the Gerda Henkel Fondation, implemented a concept of exploration and development of German-Jewish estates in Israel. Since 2019, the department's global networks and outlook are reflected in the projects ›Global Publishers as Literary Mediators‹ and ›Literature and Regime Conflicts‹, both of which are funded by the Federal Foreign Office.
In response to the recommendations of the German Council of Science and Humanities, the German Literature Archive Marbach, the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, and the Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel have founded a research association, which has been sponsored by BMBF since 2012. The German Literature Archive has worked together with the Suhrkamp Research Group, which is sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg (MWK), to set new standards for the nexus of research and development (DFG). The Department of Research is responsible for the estates of researchers and scholars within the archive.