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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.

Archival resources

Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Paul Foelsche : Australian Art and Artists file, 71376; Art Gallery of New South Wales. Details

South Australian Museum Archives

  • Records of AA 96 Paul Heinrich Matthias Foelsche, 1783 - 1930, AA 96; South Australian Museum Archives. Details

State Library of South Australia

  • The genesis of the police force in the Northern Territory, 1929 - 2002, Research Note .456; State Library of South Australia. Details

Published resources


  • Foelsche, P, The photography of Paul Foelsche: Centenary exhibition (Darwin, Northern Territory: Corporation of the City of Darwin, 1970). Details
  • Newman, Ken, V. Mor. Bro. Paul Heinreich Mattias Foelsche (Sydney, New South Wales: The Masonic Historical Society of New South Wales, 1993). Details

Book Sections

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

Journal Articles

Newspaper Articles


Resource Sections


Elizabeth Daniels