Event 25 July: The Kaurna children's letters of 1840-1843

The next Friends of the Library lunchtime discovery event is being held on Thursday 25 July.

In October 1838 two Lutheran missionaries, Clamor Schürmann and Christian Teichelmann of the Dresden Mission Society, arrived in Adelaide. They immediately set about learning the local Kaurna language. They opened a school at Piltawodli on the banks of the River Torrens where they taught Kaurna children to read and write in their own language.

In 1841-43, a piece of classwork and two letters written by the children in the Kaurna language, using beautiful English copperplate writing, were sent to the Dresden Mission Society where they were retained in archival collections. They were found in 1998 in storage in an archives cellar.

In 2014, these letters were presented on permanent loan by the Leipzig Mission to the Barr Smith Library where they are held, on behalf of the Kaurna community.

Associate Professor Rob Amery will present on the enormous significance of the letters, leading into the story of the Kaurna language movement and the wider connections with Germany through the work of Teichelmann and Schürmann.  

WHEN: Thursday 25 July 1.00pm

WHERE: Ira Raymond Exhibition Room, Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide

ENTRY: $10 at the door. Students free!

RSVP: by 24 July to friends_library@adelaide.edu.au, or phone 8313 6356

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