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Biographical entry Foelsche, Paul Heinrich Matthis (1831 - 1914)

30 March 1831
Moorburg, Germany
31 January 1914
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Dentist, Photographer and Policeman


Paul Foelsche was a German born Australian policeman, dentist, photographer, and gunsmith. Paul Foelsche also took extensive photographs of Indigenous Australians and made extensive notes on local Indigenous Australian languages. In 1881 his publication 'Notes on the Aborigines of North Australia' was read to the Royal Society of South Australia.

Published resources


  • Foelsche, P, The photography of Paul Foelsche: Centenary exhibition, Darwin Council; Northern Territory Museums and Art Gallery Board; and State Library of South Australia, Corporation of the City of Darwin, Darwin, Northern Territory, 1970. Details
  • Newman, Ken, V. Mor. Bro. Paul Heinreich Mattias Foelsche, The Masonic Historical Society of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, 1993. Details

Book Sections

  • Maxwell, Anne, 'White / Aboriginal relations on the colonial frontier reading the anthropometric photographs of Paul Foelsche', in Callahan, David (ed.), Australia, Who Cares?, Network Books, Perth, Western Australia, 2007, pp. 169 - 186. Details
  • Noye, R. J., 'Foelsche, Paul Heinrich Matthias (1831 - 1941)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 4, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1972. Also available at Details

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Online Resources

Elizabeth Daniels