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Biographical entry Eylmann, Erhard (1860 - 1926)

3 September 1860
Krautsand?, Germany


Erhard Eylmann was a German ethnologist who worked in Australia between 1896 and 1912. He went on several expeditions which saw him cross the continent from Adelaide to Darwin and back. During this time Elymann, collected fossils (which he donated to the University of Bremen, Germany) and studied the life, culture and languages of the local Aborigines.


Erhard Eylmann studied science and medicine at universities in Freiburg, Heidelberg, Leipzig and Würzburg, Germany. He and his wife Beate (nee Ruh) then moved to Cairo where they completed doctorates in philosophy (PhD) and medicine (MD). After the death of his wife, Eylmann returned to Germany (Berlin) in 1894 to take up studies in geology and ethnology. Almost immediately after completing his studies, Eylmann began a three year (?) expedition (1896 -1899) across Australia. He travelled by horseback, foot and train between Adelaide and Darwin and back. In 1908 he wrote "Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie Südaustralien" (The natives of the colony South Australia), which described the language, nature and culture of South Australia's Aborigines.

Published resources


  • Eylmann, Erhard, A further translation of selected chapters of Dr Erhard Eylmann's Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie Sudaustralie (The Aborigines of the colony of South Australia) (Canberra: Intellectual Property Publications, c.2002), 36 pp. Details
  • Eylmann, Erhard., Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie Sudaustralien (New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1966), 494 pp. Details
  • Schröder, Wilfried, Ich Reiste wie ein Buschmann: Zum Leben und Wirken des Australienforschers Erhard Eylmann (Bremen: The author, 2002), 273 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Bunzendahl, O., 'Der Australien-Forscher Dr. Erhard Eylmann und seine Sammlung im Deutschen Kolonial-und Ubersee-Museum zu Bremen' in Veroffentlichungen (Bremen: Deutsches Kolonial-und Ubersee-Museum, 1938), pp. 33-80. Details
  • Merlan, Francesca, 'The Australianist work of Erhard Eylemann in comparative perspective' in German ethnography in Australia, Peterson, Nicolas and Kenny, Anna, eds (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2017), pp. 275-99. Details
  • Schröder, Wilfried, 'Erhard Eylmann: ethnogrrapher and explorer' in Germans: travellers, settlers and their descendants in South Australia, Monteath, Peter, ed. (Kent Town, S.A.: Wakefield Press, 2011), pp. 188-203. Details

Journal Articles

  • Monteath, Peter, 'Erhard Eylmann: a German anthropologist in Australia', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 127 (1) (2015), 83-09, Details
  • Monteath, Peter, 'Erhard Eylmann's missionary position', Anthropological Forum, 27 (3) (2017), 240-55. Details
  • Schröder, Wilfried, 'Erhard Eylmann: a Pioneer of Exploration and Anthropology in Australia', Anthropological Forum, 14 (2004), 43-51. Details


Annette Alafaci