Hurley's photographs in the present album are some of the earliest prints developed (in Veiga's Punta Arenas studio in September 1916) from his glass plate negatives retrieved from the wreck of the Endurance shortly before she sank in November 1915. Rescued by Shackleton and the Yelcho from Elephant Island, Hurley and the marooned party arrived in Punta Arenas on 3 September 1916: 'On nearing the town we observed displayed everywhere the flag of welcome, the Chilian Ensign. On nearing the Jetty we were deafened by the tooting of whistles and cheering motor craft, which was taken up by the cast gathering on the piers and waterfronts. All introduced to the Governor. On landing from the motor launch we were welcomed by an immense crowd frantically cheering and by the Naval Band.
'We marched through the street in our filthy Elephant Island togs, followed by the band, through packed streets bedecked with flags. Never had I dreamt that such a warm reception could be given to utter strangers ... I shall ever remember this kindness and goodwill. Such a crowd has not yet been witnessed in Punta Arenas, 8,000 to 9,000 people must have gathered to welcome us. Immediately on taking up residence at the Royal Hotel, had a glorious scrub bath, the first for ten months! Oh the luxury of sensing cleanliness ... 9-4-16 ... During the day, Senor Vega, the leading photographer of the town placed his dark rooms at my disposal and I spent most of the time in developing. All the plates which were exposed on the wreck nearly twelve months ago turned out excellently. The small Kodak film suffered through the protracted keeping, but will be printable. Mr. Dixon, Chief Engineer, Chilian Navy, is having constructed a developing machine in order that I might run through my film (cine) ... 9-8-16 ... The splendid studio and dark room of Senor Vega, have been placed at my disposal unreservedly, and I have made the utmost use of them. The fine shop contains the latest in photographic equipment, and the assortment of delicate mountings, albums, plates, papers and sundries, exceeds those purchaseable in Sydney. This is surprising when one considers that Punta Arenas is about six days steam from Buenos Ayres, and with the exception of the convict settlement at Ushuaia, is the most southerly town in the world' (F. Hurley, Endurance Diary).