Guide to the Papers of Frank Hurley
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- Hurley, Frank, 1885-1962
- Papers of Frank Hurley
- Date Range
- Collection Number
- MS 883
- 1.12 metres (8 boxes)
- Language of Materials
- National Library of Australia
- Diaries kept on Antarctic expeditions, New Guinea expeditions, during World War I and II and during an Australian tour, together with typescripts of publications, scripts of radio talks and films, personal papers and newspaper cuttings covering his expeditions and career.
Scope and Contents
The papers include diaries kept on Antarctic expeditions, New Guinea expeditions, during World War I and II, and during an Australian tour; typescripts of publications, radio talks and film script; personal papers; and newspaper cuttings covering his expeditions and career. There is also an account by Ross Macpherson Smith of his 1919 flight.
Conditions Governing Access
Access conditions may apply to this collection, please refer to the collection's catalogue record for further information (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2247836).
Conditions Governing Use
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Frank Hurley, National Library of Australia, MS 883, [series and item number]'.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were presented to the Library by Mrs Hurley in 1963 together with several thousand photographs. Items 72-82 of MS 883 are papers originally located in the Pictures and Map collections and relocated in Manuscripts in 1974-2002.
A substantial collection of photographs by Hurley are held in the Library's Pictures Collection.
The diaries of Frank Hurley (Series 1 Items 2-4 and Series 1 Item 17) are available on microfilm at mfm G 10285. Further diaries of Frank Hurley (1912-1918) are held by the Mitchell Library.
James Francis Hurley was born in Sydney on 15 October 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. He died in Sydney on 16 January 1962.
Hurley married Antoinette Leighton in 1918. They had a son and two daughters.
Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 9, pp 411-12
See also Series 4, Item 74 (Papua New Guinea diary, 1921).
Mawson Expedition. Typescript. 27cm. n.p.
Pamphlet - South Georgia - Weddell Sea, Frozen in - ships drift -, wreck of Endurance. Typescript bound with pamphlet The Imperial Trans? Antarctic Expedition. 26.4cm. n.p. Filmed on G 10,285
Drifting floe - Elephant Island - Relief. Typescript. 26.4cm. n.p. Filmed on G 10, 285
Return home through Chile and Argentine, Brazil and Spain - London - Return South Georgia, my stay South Georgia. Typescript with manuscript corrections. 26.4cm. n.p. Filmed on G 10,285
My diary, official War Photographer Commonwealth Military Forces, 21 August 1917 - 31 August 1918 (Item 5)
Flanders - France - London - Malta, Palestine - Egypt - London. Typescript with manuscript markings. 26.4cm. n.p.
Frank Hurley's diary, when on tour with the Shackleton Picture, 21 November 1919 - 20 January 1920 (Item 6)
Autograph manuscript. n.p.
George St. Sydney. Being account of a voyage to the Barrier Reef. The Torres Straits Islands and New Guinea. From 2 December 1920. Islands visited, Darnley, Murray, Mabuiag, Moa. Autograph manuscript with many alterations. 135pp. 2 December 1920 - 31 January 1921.
Being record of my experiences during a visit to the Torres Straits Islands and New Guinea, including an epitome of the pearling of Thursday Island. Autograph manuscript. 181pp.
N.B. For diary C, Hurley diary Papua New Guinea May - July 1921, see Series 4, Item 74.
From Kiaruka - to Ononge, and to Port Moresby. New Guinea. Autograph manuscript, bound vol., 84pp.
Concerning the passage up the Fly to our meeting with the natives of Lake Murray. Autograph manuscript signed, bound vol., 143pp.
Contains an amount of official correspondence to and from Frank Hurley. Autograph manuscript signed. 45pp.
Account by Ross Macpherson Smith of his 1919 flight entitled 'My first aerial voyage from London to Australia' (Item 14)
Autograph manuscript. 34pp, n.d. Contained in a notebook, together with notes for lecture-film evenings (written by Hurley), and 'Adventure films and the psychology of the audience', n.p.
Autograph rewritten from part of the diary kept on the British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Expedition 1929 on which Frank Hurley was official photographer (Item 16)
Includes photographs. 52pp.
Contains photographs. 486pp. (16 November 1930 - 19 March 1931) . Autograph manuscript signed. Filmed on G 10, 285
7 August 1940 - 14 August 1940, 81pp. 8 September 1940 - 15 September 1940, 51pp. Autograph manuscript.
Commencing with campaign before Tobruk. Autograph manuscript with many alterations and corrections. n.p.
From 7 August 1940. Palestine - Egypt. Typescript. 40pp. Please note: pages 21-27 are missing.
Relate to Frank Hurley's expeditions in the Antarctic and New Guinea, war photography, an attempted plane flight from Australia to London in 1928, and reviews, advertisements and articles on his motion pictures, mainly "Pearls and savages" and "The jungle woman". Item 29 comprises press cuttings on the attempted flight in twelve days from Australia to London, commenced in October 1928 and item 33 contains cuttings on Sir Ross Smith.
Further typescripts are located in Series 4 (including Items 71e, 73, 75 and 79).
Commonwealth of Australia. Minutes of evidence, 2 June 1927 - 16 February 1928. pp. 167-179. Xerox copy. (Frank Hurley gave evidence at this Commission).
27pp. Pt. 1. 'Whale hunting with bomb and wireless: a story of whales, their habits and modern whaling'; Pt. 2. 'Hunting whales with bomb and wireless: the chase and capture'; Pt. 3. 'Whaling with bomb and wireless: hunting humpbacks from shore stations'.
'Whaling with bomb and wireless: the adventure of modern whale hunting among the ice packs of Australian Antarctica', 1940 (Item 40)
Final copy, with receipt ticket of the ABC Talks Department, dated 15 February 1940. 14pp.
For The man behind the camera. A much altered version of the above. Signed typescript with manuscript corrections. 4pp.
'Oasis, a tour into the heart of Australia in which is described, in lighter vein, problems, the face of the country, and some of the people spoken to' (Item 43)
(or 'Red sand and bronze men : a tour through the wide spaces of Central Australia to a valley of palms beyond'). With receipt ticket of the ABC Talks department, dated 4 January 1940. Typescript with many manuscript alterations and corrections. 16pp.
Film script for A nation is built for the sequicentenary of Australia. Typescript with several manuscript corrections. 7pp.
Typescript with several manuscript corrections. 34pp.
Processed with manuscript alterations. 10pp. For 'Cradle of creation' see Item 73 (folio).
Typescript with a few manuscript corrections. 6pp.
With notes, signed. Typescript with manuscript alterations and corrections. 9pp.
Typescript with manuscript corrections. 5pp.
Press ticket to the military ceremony at Handing over of Cita del Barracks, 4 July 1946
24 August 1946. A reference for Frank Hurley to allow him to carry out his work.
The tombs of Sakkara, by Mrs Quibell, 2nd revised edition (1925); A trip through Upper Galilee, by Dorothy Kahn Bar-Adon (n.d.) containing a letter from J.B Glubb to Hurley; The sites of the crucifixion and the resurrection, by Ernest Tatham Richmond (1934); Notes on the ancient cities of Cyrenaica, by J.B. Ward Perkins 2nd ed. (n.d.); The great pyramids, by Alec C. Cury (n.d.) and Handbook of Cyrenaica, parts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11.
Prepared by the Horticultural Division, Agricultural Dept. and 'Notes on the history of the hop industry in Tasmania', by Henry W. Shoobridge.
Three typescript pages relating to Hurley's negatives of Palestine in World War II and his book The Holy City: a camera study of the Holy City and its borderlands (1949).
|2||30||Folio Box 1|
|2||32||Folio Box 2|
|2||33||Folio Box 3|
|2||34-35||Folio Box 1|
|4||71a||Folio Box 4|
|4||73||Folio Box 5|