Records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania

From the British Library:

Collecting and preserving the records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania in Moshi, Tanzania

Following the creation of the German protectorate in 1885, German missionary societies established themselves in different parts of Tanzania.

The Leipzig Mission founded its first station on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1893. By 1939 half of the (predominantly peasant) Chagga population had been converted; today most people are Christians. Although German rule ended in 1919, German missionaries returned in 1926, including a leading figure in German anthropology and mission history – Bruno Gutmann (1876-1966). In 1963 the mission church became the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania in Northern Tanganyika [later: Tanzania], consisting of 5 dioceses: Northern, Pare, Arusha, Meru and Central. The archive of this church in the small town of Moshi in the centre of the Northern Diocese houses records which extend back to 1895.

Some are in English, others in German or Swahili.

A grant given by the Endangered Archives Programme enabled these records to be digitised.

From the Endangered Archives Programme digital project page:

Project Outcome

This project was successful in digitising 20,744 pages of correspondence, mission station diaries, church registers (baptisms, marriages, funerals), parish council minutes, files on education and cash books, as well as some photographs. Most of the material is in German with a small amount in English or kiSwahili. Most of the records are not later than 1930 but where files started before 1930 and continued into the 1940s and 1950s, then the whole file has been digitised.

Nearly all of the material covered in this project is now housed in the archive of the ELCT Northern Diocese, PO Box 195, Moshi. This includes records transferred from the neighbouring parishes of Kidia, Machame, Mamba, Masama, Mwika and Siha, as well as a large amount of material that was already in Moshi.

Digital copies, on 98 DVDs, have been deposited in:

i) the Moshi archive; ii) the National Archives, Dar es Salaam (master copy, not accessible to researchers) iii) the Institut für Afrikanistik, University of Leipzig iv) the British Library.

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