Lutheran Archives

The Lutheran Archives is the official repository of historical material relating to the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA). It holds records of the present LCA, as well as records of the earlier Lutheran synods in Australia which in time amalgamated to form the present LCA.

Most records are available for inspection, but some have closed or restricted access. Private records of church departments that are less than 30 years old are generally not open for research unless special permission is gained.

The Archives has a limited collection of items from the Lutheran Church of New Zealand. If further details are required, researchers can contact the President of the Lutheran Church New Zealand or the Archives collection at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.




The Archives does not have a comprehensive catalogue of its holdings. Consequently researchers will need to discuss with the archivist the nature of their research and the information desired. The archivist will endeavour to find relevant records in the collection. If your research project is not genealogical, it is advisable to contact the Archives before your visit to check on the availability of resources.

Genealogy and family history research

The parish registers contain information on births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths and burials of people who were associated with the Lutheran Church. These are extremely valuable for family history research. To assist researchers a Church Records Computer Database Index has been prepared. A printout of the surname provides the researcher with an index to entries with that surname in the parish registers. This enables the researcher to quickly locate those records which may be useful. There is an additional charge for this service.

German language and translation

Up to the 1920s most of the records were written or printed in German. Handwritten German records can be rather difficult to read, so assistance is provided where possible. Some documents may be available in English translation. Additional translation from German can be undertaken for a fee.

Book sales

A selection of family history books and church history books are available for purchase.

Photo reproductions

Photos in the Archives collection can be scanned for a fee.


Researchers may request photocopies of documents. This will be done by the Archives staff, subject to the physical condition of the documents and to copyright legislation.


  • Individual research: $15 per half day ($30 per day)
  • Pensioners & Students: $10 per half day
  • Archives Staff Research: $60 per hour (eg written enquiries)
  • Computer printout of surnames in church records database: $4 per surname, plus $1 per page

Scope of collection

Records from Lutheran synods [read more]

  • Kavel-Fritzsche Synod (1838-1846)
  • Langmeil-Light Pass Synod (1846-1874)
  • Bethany-Lobethal Synod (1846-1863)
  • Victoria Synod (1856-1921)
  • Tanunda-Light Pass Synod (1860-1874)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Australia (ELSA) (1863-1944)
  • Immanuel Synod (1874-1921)
  • General Synod (1876-1921)
  • Immanuel Synod a.a.G. (1884-1921)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Queensland (ELSQ) (1885-1921)
  • United German & Scandinavian Lutheran Synod of Qld (1885-1921)
  • ELSA a.a.G (1904-1926)
  • United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Australia (UELCA) (1921-1966)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (ELCA) (1944-1966)
  • Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) (1966-)


Types of records [read more]

  • Official histories of the Lutheran churches in Australia
  • Church departmental records
  • Church convention reports
  • Church almanacs and yearbooks
  • Church statistical records
  • Church periodicals (Australian, US, German etc)
  • Congregation histories and records
  • Parish registers
  • Parish papers
  • Biographical records of pastors and Lutheran teachers
  • Family history books
  • Mission magazines
  • Some shipping lists (SA, 1837-1870)
  • Special collections (Bibles, hymnbooks, catechisms, sermon books, devotion books, theology)
  • Photographs (churches, schools, missions, pastors, teachers)
  • Artefacts
  • Maps and atlases



Congregation Records - Guidelines

This document provides information on what records congregations should keep, and how to protect them.
Click here to download.


Friends of Lutheran Archives

The Friends of Lutheran Archives (FoLA) is a group whose goal is to encourage the collection and preservation of archival material and to promote the work of the Lutheran Archives. Become a Friend of the Lutheran Archives. Email FoLA for information, subscription rates, publications, outings, etc. Read more about FoLA


'Stepping Stones'

Don't miss this regular column in The Lutheran, which tells fascinating stories about the history of our church. Read or download the latest 'Stepping Stones' here: September 2011


Please support us

Contact us or visit us

Rachel Kuchel, BA(Hons), Grad Dip Information Studies, Grad Dip Sc (Archives & Records)

Lutheran Archives
27 Fourth Street, Bowden SA 5007
Phone 08 8340 4009

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  • Tram: In King William Street or North Terrace, catch the tram to the Entertainment Centre at Hindmarsh. Cross Port Road and walk south to Gibson Street and then north-east to Fourth Street. Note: this is a FREE service.
  • Rail: At the Adelaide Railway Station catch the Grange train and alight at the Bowden station. Walk south to Gibson Street, then north-east to Fourth Street.
  • Bus: Catch number 150, 155 or 157 in North Terrace in the city and alight at Stop 6. Cross Port Road and walk south to Gibson Street and then north-east to Fourth Street. (Alternate route via Ward Street, North Adelaide: Catch number 250, 251 or 252  in King William Street in the city and alight at Stop 9 on Hawker Street. Walk south-west along Gibson Street to Fourth Street.) 
  • Car: From Park Terrace, turn into Sixth Street and drive to the end. Turn left into Drayton Street and left into Fourth Street.
    From Port Road, turn into Gibson Street, and left into Fourth Street.

December/Christmas 2014

  • Closed Thursday afternoon, 11 December, from 12.30 pm
  • Closed from Monday, 22 December and reopening 5 January

Usual Hours of Business

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