Lutheran Archives, Lutheran Church of Australia, Adelaide

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Lutheran Archives, Lutheran Church of Australia, Adelaide

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • Religious

Contact area





Street address

27 Fourth Street, Bowden




South Australia

Country name

Postal code



08 8340 4009



Description area


Lutheran contingents first came to Australia in 1837, 1838 and 1841 from eastern Prussia in search of religious freedom. At the same time, Lutheran missionaries arrived to work among Indigenous Australian people in Queensland and South Australia.

Many Prussian/German Lutherans followed as migrants, settling initially in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley, South Australia, Victoria, southern New South Wales and south-east Queensland.

Missions to Indigenous Australians and others were important to Lutherans, and were established in southern and central Australia, Queensland, New Zealand and in New Guinea.

The Lutheran Archives collection is comprised of congregation records from all around Australia. It covers the records of national and district agencies and departments of the church, including New Guinea mission records and some New Zealand material. We hold significant collections of Bibles, Luther’s works and other religious books, as well as artefacts and photographs.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Lutheran Archives is a department of the Executive Office of the Church, also known as Ministry Support. It is one of five departments exercising the 'enabling' functions outlined in our Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) Strategic Direction 2015–2018.

Records management and collecting policies

In-house archives for Lutheran Church of Australia for all past, present and future records. Materials relating to the church can also be deposited by members of the public.



Records include:

  • Parish registers of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials
  • Church department records, including of the missions to Aboriginal people
  • Photographs (churches, schools, missions, pastors, teachers, church events)
  • Congregation records and histories
  • Biographical records of pastors and Lutheran teachers
  • Synodical convention reports
  • Published histories of the Lutheran churches in Australia
  • Church periodicals, almanacs, yearbooks and statistical records (periodicals include Australian, US, German)
  • Family history books
  • Mission magazines
  • School, education and Sunday school records
  • Some shipping lists (South Australia, 1837–1870)
  • Special collections (Bibles, hymnbooks, catechisms, sermon books, devotion books, theology, Luther’s works)
  • Artefacts, maps and atlases.

For a list of the synods covered, please see the website.
Research themes:

  • Church history: congregations, church ministries, departments, and organisations
  • Family history: through parish registers of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials – indexes available on database
  • Aboriginal languages, culture and history
  • Refugee and migration history: including 19th century and Post WW II
  • Settlement and local history: through congregation records and registers which document the settlement of Lutherans in newly opened rural areas
  • Lutheran Schooling in history of education
  • German-Australian language, traditions, media and cultural life – ‘Deutschtum’.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Parish registers are indexed for each individual entry. Photographs and books are catalogued at item level.

Basic catalogues and series descriptions exist for the mission records and post-WW II migration of displaced persons.

Indexes and catalogues are available for searching in-house, or register indexes can be sent electronically to researchers.

A Guide to records of indigenous Australians in the Lutheran Archives, Adelaide, SA / A publication of the Archives Working Group of the Cultural Ministers Council. 1999.

Access area

Opening times

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am–4.30 pm.
Closed Wednesdays, weekends and public holidays.

Access conditions and requirements

Open access for most records more than 30 years old. For information about fees, see the website.


For a map and transport options, see the website.

Services area

Research services

Reference assistance available in the reading room. Access to indexes, catalogues and finding aids. Transcription and German translation services available (the majority of records until WW I are in Suetterlin German script). Research can be conducted by archivists for external researchers.

Refer to website for fees.

Reproduction services

Copying and digitisation services available, dependent on the condition, format and access restrictions of the record.
Transcription and translation services available for records from our holdings as well as external holdings.
Refer to website for fees.

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 21 May 2018




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Thematic area)
  • Arts and Culture (Thematic area)
  • Education (Thematic area)
  • Family / Domestic Life (Thematic area)
  • Genealogical (Thematic area)
  • Immigration (Thematic area)
  • Indigenous (Thematic area)
  • Language (Thematic area)
  • Local Studies (Thematic area)
  • Religion (Thematic area)
  • Social Organisations and Activities (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

27 Fourth Street, Bowden
Adelaide, South Australia 5007