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Papers of Frank Hurley, 1912-1962 [manuscript]
Bib ID 2247836
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Hurley, Frank, 1885-1962
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1912-1962] 
2.25 m. (8 boxes) + 1 fol. box + 1 phase box. 

MS 883 comprises papers, including diaries kept on Antarctic expeditions, New Guinea expeditions, during World War I and II and during an Australian tour. There are also typescripts of publications, and scripts of radio talks and films. The collection also includes personal papers and newspaper cuttings covering Frank Hurley's expeditions and career (8 boxes, 1 fol. box, 1 phase box).


Photographer and explorer. James Francis (Frank) Hurley was born in Sydney in 1885. He was educated at the Glebe Public School and later attended lectures at the University of Sydney. He became interested in photography, worked for a postcard business and in 1910 held his first exhibition. In 1911 Douglas Mawson invited Hurley to be the photographer on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. He took both still photographs and movie film and on his return to Sydney he produced the film Home of the blizzard. In November 1913 he returned to the Antarctic with an expedition to relieve Mawson. In 1914 he joined the Antarctic expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton and took the famous photographs of the destruction of the "Endurance". He returned to England in 1916 where he assembled his photographs and produced the film In the grip of polar ice.

In 1917 Hurley joined the Australian Imperial Force as an official photographer and worked in France, Belgium and Palestine. At considerable risk, he photographed the Light Horse during the battle of Jericho. He returned to Australia in 1918 and in the following year joined Ross Smith on the final leg of his flight from England, filming Australia from the air. Between 1920 and 1923 he made two long expeditions to the Torres Strait Islands and Papua and produced both a film and a book with the title Pearls and savages. He made further films in Dutch New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands, worked as pictorial editor for The Sun (Sydney) and in 1929 returned to the Antarctic with the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition. In the 1930s Hurley worked with the Cinesound studio, as a cameraman and as head of its special documentary unit. During World War II he was official photographer with the AIF in the Middle East, where he remained until 1946. On his return to Australia he published several books of photographs and travelled and lectured. Hurley died in Sydney in 1962.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 883.

Selected items are also available on microfilm at the National Library of Australia Main Reading Room - Newspapers and Family History at mfm G 10285.

Also available online

Related Material Frank Hurley's personal collection of over 10,000 photographic negatives, lantern slides and photographic prints are located at; National Library of Australia Pictures collection. 
Cited In

Guide to collections of manuscripts relating to Australia ; A289.

Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available in the Special Collections Reading Room and on the Internet at: 
Subjects Hurley, Frank, 1885-1962 -- Archives.  |  Hurley, Frank, 1885-1962 -- Diaries.  |  Photographers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  War photographers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Motion picture producers and directors -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Explorers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Antarctica -- Discovery and exploration.  |  New Guinea -- Discovery and exploration.
Time Coverage 1912-1962 
Occupation Photographers.  |  Film producers and directors.  |  Explorers.

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