Hurley, Frank. Infantrymen of the 1st Australian Division during a rest in the dugouts at Ypres, 1917.

The World War I photographs of Frank Hurley include the Ypres and Passchendaele battlefields, wounded soldiers, aircraft and landscapes in northern France and Flanders. Also included are photographs of the Australian Light Horse and the Imperial Camel Corps in the Middle East. The photographs are complemented by the manuscript collection Papers of Frank Hurley, 1912-1962.

Gibbs, May.  (1916).  The girls I left behind me.

The National Library collects pictorial material in order to document significant people, places and events in Australian history and society. As a result there is a wide range of material relating to the effect of the First World War on Australia and Australians, ranging from the personal and intimate to the professional and remote. Propaganda material is also represented. Formats include photographs, prints, drawings and cartoons. A variety of artists are represented including:

  • Norman Lindsay
  • Daryl Lindsay
  • May Gibbs
  • Will Dyson
  • Stan Cross

Catalogue search tips

In addition to using the name of an artist or photographer to find pictorial material in our catalogue, subject headings can also be used in a search. Some examples of useful subject headings include:

Keywords such as the following can also be used:

  • 'world war 1914 photographs’
  • ‘world war 1914 posters’
  • 'world war 1914 recruitment’
  • ‘world war norman lindsay’

Use the ‘Limit your search’ options to limit your search results by format to 'picture'.


As well as the photographs by official war photographer Frank Hurley, the Library holds many collections of photographs taken by soldiers on active service. These amateur images show the war and the experience of war in a very personal way. An example is The Great War, 1914-1915 : a collection of photographs taken by Signaller J.P. Campbell whilst on active service with the glorious 3rd Brigade of Light Horse.


The Library holds many examples of recruitment posters aimed at persuading greater numbers of Australians to enlist. Some of the most famous are the posters of Norman Lindsay, who drew them for Australia's last great recruiting drive in 1918. The Lindsay collection also includes a collection of original drawings done in preparation for the posters.

National Library of Australia News (January 1997) includes an article on the National Library exhibition For King and country: Australia's World War I Recruitment Campaigns which featured the extensive poster collection of the Library.

Benson, Tim.  Over the top : a cartoon history of Australia at war / [editor], Timothy S. Benson  Scribe Brunswick, Victoria  2015

Will you fight now or wait for this

Lindsay, Norman. & W. E. Smith Ltd.  1918,  Will you fight now or wait for this [picture] / [Norman Lindsay]


The Pictures collection includes material in a wide variety of formats.

See the Library webpage Using the Pictures collection for more information on use of this material.


The Australian War Memorial holds one of the largest art collections in Australia as well as the output of the Official War Art Scheme, including work produced by Australian artists of the First World War.

Not sure where to start?