State Librarian Lea Giles-Peters today announced a major new acquisition by the State Library of Queensland of a significant photographic collection charting the development of the Hope Vale community from 1958–83. Ms Giles-Peters said Lutheran Pastor Ivan Roennfeldt’s donation of his collection of 2,000 photographs and slides coincided with the 50th anniversary of Hope Vale’s Lutheran Church.
Pastor Roennfeldt, 83, who is now retired and living in Brisbane, was on the Board of the Lutheran Church which oversaw the Hope Vale Mission. He visited the Mission many times over 25 years from 1958, and photographed the community and local landmarks.
“The photographic collection donated by Pastor Roennfeldt depicts the daily activities of the mission, such as farming, constructing irrigation systems and wood turning,” Ms Giles-Peters said. “There are also a number of images acquired by Pastor Roennfeldt dating from the 1800s, which show the earlier traditional life of the community, including rare shots of fishing, camping and shelters.” Pastor Roennfeldt’s photographs will become part of the State Library’s Heritage Collections.
The State Library is investigating digitising the collection so it can be viewed by people across the state and throughout Australia online through the Picture Queensland database. Ms Giles-Peters said the State Library is committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities and preserving their unique culture and stories.
“In partnership with the local council, the Department of Communities and private donors, the State Library opened an Indigenous Knowledge Centre in Hope Vale last month,” she said. “The Hope Vale centre provides a place for people to come together, socialise, learn and celebrate the community’s cultural heritage and is part of the network of 17 Indigenous Knowledge Centres located across the state.”