The National Library is privileged to hold Frank Hurley’s personal collection of over 10,000 photographic negatives and lantern slides, and several hundred of his photographic prints, purchased from the Hurley family in batches from 1963. The collection includes over 250 prints and negatives taken by Hurley in Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands such as Macquarie Island.
Hurley’s Antarctic images can be viewed in the National Library’s Catalogue. They are an eloquent record of the beauty of the Antarctic landscape, of penguins, seals and other animals, and of the living conditions of expeditioners. The best known of Hurley’s Antarctic photographs were taken on the 1914-1916 expedition led by Shackleton, on which the ship Endurance was crushed by the ice, and the expedition members spent nearly eleven months camped on the pack ice and Elephant Island.
Hurley was official photographer on the following Antarctic expeditions:
|Australasian Antarctic Expedition||Sir Douglas Mawson||1911-1913||Hobart, Macquarie Island – Cape Denison on Commonwealth Bay in Adelie Land||Aurora|
|Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition||Sir Ernest Shackleton||1914-1916||South Georgia, Weddell Sea, Elephant Island, South Georgia||Endurance|
|BANZARE (British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition)||Sir Douglas Mawson||1929-1930||Crozet Islands, MacRobertson Land,, Kerguelen Island, Adelaide||Discovery|
|BANZARE (British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition)||Sir Douglas Mawson||1930-1931||Hobart, Macquarie Island, Commonwealth Bay, Hobart||Discovery|
Photographs by Hurley of the Antarctic are also held by a number of other institutions, notably the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge in the United Kingdom, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the South Australian Museum (transferred there from the University of Adelaide’s Mawson Institute). Although the National Library’s holdings of Hurley Antarctic images are extensive, none of the images are uniquely held by the Library.