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Aboriginal missions in South Australia: Hermannsburg

Guide to resources relating to the history of Aboriginal missions in South Australia including records created by these missions.


AIATSIS. South Australian Protector's reports and Northern Territory Protector's reports can be browsed by year. Keyword searching within each report can locate relevant information.

Hermannsburg historic precinct.

The Hermannsburg school (of artists).

Lutheran Church of Australia archives.

Hermannsburg records

Records for the Hermannsburg Mission are held at Lutheran Church of Australia archives in Adelaide.

The Library holds Guide to records of Indigenous Australians in the Lutheran Archives, Adelaide, SA which contains name indexes for various registers and files relating to the Hermannsburg mission.

Archival material

Hermann Heinrich. Papers of Heinrich, a teacher at the Lutheran Mission at Hermannsburg (Ntaria) from 1917-1932.

Kramer Family. Papers of Ernest Kramer, missionary to in Central Australia, his wife Euphemia and children Colin and Mary.

Pastor F. W. Albrecht. Records from his time spent as a missionary at Hermannsburg from 1926-1952.

Radio interview with Pastor F. W. Albrecht, 1969.

Getting started

This guide to sources relating to the Hermannsburg Mission was last updated by Library staff in 2016. It comprises selected material held by the State Library or available online.

To find further material relevant to this topic, try searching with these subject headings in the State Library catalogue:

Hermannsburg mission
Aboriginal Australians-Missions-Northern Territory-Hermannsburg

Or conduct a keyword search using the following terms:

Finke River mission*
Aranda and mission*

For more assistance, talk with staff at the Library's Information Desk or Ask Us.

Books and pamphlets

Hermannsburg lay within the borders of South Australia from its foundation in 1877 until 1911, when the Northern Territory was formed.

A summary of the history of the Hermannsburg mission can be found on the Find and Connect website.

Albrecht, Paul G. E. From mission to church, 1877-2002 : Finke River Mission, 2002.

Bandhauer, Andre and Veber, Maria (eds.) Migration and cultural contact : Germany and Australia, 2009.

Dear Mr Heinrich: Ntaria letters 1933-35, 2002.

Henson, Barbara, A straight-out man : F.W. Albrecht and Central Australian Aborigines, 1992.

The Heritage of Namatjira : the watercolourists of Central Australia, 1992.

Hill, Barry. Broken song: T.G.H. Strehlow and Aboriginal possession, 2002.

Latz, P. K. Blind Moses: Moses Tjalkabota Uraiakuraia, Aranda man of high degree and Christian evangelist, 2014.

Leske, Everard (ed.) Hermannsburg : a vision and a mission, 1977.

Ntaria Hermannsburg : an introduction to the place, its history, and its people, 198?

Scherer, P. A. (ed.) The Hermannsburg chronicle 1877-1933, 1995

Scherer, P. A. A day in the life of Hermannsburg, 1988.

Scherer, P.A. Venture of faith : an epic in Australian missionary history, 1963.

Schmiechen, H.J. The Hermannsburg Mission Society in Australia 1866-1895 : changing missionary attitudes and their effects on the Aboriginal inhabitants, 1971.

Strehlow, John. The tale of Frieda Keysser. volume 1, 1875-1910 : Frieda Keysser & Carl Strehlow, an historical biography, 2011.

Strehlow, John. The tale of Frieda Keysser. volume 2, 1910-1922 : Frieda Keysser & Carl Strehlow, an historical biography, 2018.

Strehlow,  T.G.H. Journey to Horseshoe Bend, 1978.


Church, Hermannsburg, 1932. B 8576.

Periodical articles

Australian Geographic. no. 21, Jan-Mar 1991. Raffaele, Paul.  'Hermannsburg: a settlement with a mission.'

Journal of Friends of Lutheran Archives. no. 20, Oct 2010. John, L. 'On collision course: Sir Baldwin Spencer and the Finke River Mission.'

Lutheran Theological Journal. vol. 32, no. 1, May 1998. Albrecht, Paul. 'The Finke River Mission approach to mission work among Aborigines in Central Australia.'

To locate more journal articles, access the State Library's eResources.

Selected Australian newspapers, published prior to 1955, have been digitised as part of the National Library of Australia’s Trove website.

Further newspaper articles may be identified by using the following, Newspaper index : references to Aborigines in Adelaide newspapers, 1836-1940, 1989.