MS 4887 comprises correspondence, notes, drafts and research material relating to Hardy's published works; diaries; notebooks; press cuttings; tape recordings; photographs; cartoons and sketches by Hardy, Ambrose Dyson, Bruce Petty, Counihan and Vane; autobiographical notes; radio and television scripts; papers connected with political and literary organizations; material relating to the Power without glory trial; biographical and critical material on Henry Lawson, Russian poet Evgenii Yevtushenko, and writings by others.
There is correspondence with publishers and fellow writers in Australia and overseas, 1946-1973; and letters from Martin Boyd, Eric Lambert, the Palmers, Neville Shute, Jack Lindsay, Howard Fast, Owen Webster, family, friends and Communist Party comrades. Photographs include Hardy in Russia, Europe, the United States and Australia, historical material of revolutionary Russia and postwar Poland (242 boxes, 11 fol. boxes, 1 elephant folio).
Author and activist. Francis Joseph (Frank) Hardy was born at Southern Cross, Victoria in 1917. He joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1939 and served in the AIF from 1942-1945. After journalistic and literary apprenticeships he was made famous by the Wren vs Hardy case of 1950-1951 over alleged defamation of Mrs John Wren in his novel Power without glory. He was found not guilty and went on to write novels, plays, television and film scripts including The outcasts of Foolgarah (1971), The unlucky Australians (book 1967; film 1973), and But the dead are many (1975). Hardy died in Melbourne in 1994.