Browse Entries

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Biographical entry

  • Trove

Biographical entry Noetling, Friedrich Wilhelm (Fritz) (1857 - 1929)

17 July 1857
Mannheim, Germany
October 1929
Baden Baden, Germany
Geologist and Mining engineer


Fritz Noetling was a geologist and mining engineer, and enthusiastic collector of palaeontological and cultural materials. During his 18 years working for the Geological Survey of India in the Punjab, Baluchistan and Burma, he made extensive collections, many of which he sold to museums in Europe. On moving to Tasmania in 1906 he was employed mainly as a mining engineer. He was elected a member of the Tasmanian Field Naturalists' Club and the Royal Society of Tasmania, where he served as office bearer between 1908 and 1914. Noetling resumed his collecting activities, assembling over 1,000 items: many of these are now in the Leipzig Ethnological Museum. By the end of 1911 he had published over 20 papers in the Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, mainly on Aboriginal stone tool technology. His mining reports and papers on Tasmanian Aborigines attracted some criticism. In 1915, in the midst of anti-German sentiment stirred up during WWI, Noetling was arrested and interned. In 1919 his naturalisation was revoked and he was repatriated to Germany.



1887 - 1903
Career position - Employed by Geological Survey of India
1894 -
Career position - Corresponding Member, Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte
1906 -
Career position - Member, Tasmanian Field Naturalists' Club
1906 -
Career position - Member, Royal Society of Tasmania
Life event - Moved to Tasmania
Life event - Naturalised as a British subject
1909 - 1914
Career position - Trustee, Tasmanian Museum
1910 - 1919
Career position - Honorary Secretary, Royal Society of Tasmania
Life event - Arrested and interned during WWI hostilities

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Struwe, Ruth, 'An ambitious German in early twentieth century Tasmania: the collections made by Fritz Noetling', Australian Archaeology, vol. 62, 2006, pp. 31-7. Details
  • Terry, Ian, '"Making disloyal statements": the case of Dr Fritz Noetling, geologist, anthropologist ... spy?', Tasmanian Historical Research Association Papers and Proceedings, vol. 63, no. 1, 2016, pp. 4-25. Details


Helen Cohn