The papers comprise diaries (1958-76), letters written by Hope while studying at Oxford (1919-31), personal and professional correspondence, notebooks (1952-76), articles and lectures (1952-83), drafts of published and unpublished works, photographs, papers relating to associations and societies and a draft of "A. D. Hope: a bibliography", by Joy Hooton. Correspondents include David Campbell, C. Manning Clark, Rosemary Dobson, Geoffrey Dutton, Robert FitzGerald, Sir Keith Hancock, Gwen Harwood, George Johnston, Norman Lindsay, James McAuley, Nettie Palmer, Kenneth Slessor, Douglas Stewart, Francis Webb, Patrick White, Judith Wright and Fay Zwicky.
Alec Derwent Hope was born in Cooma, NSW, on 21 July 1907 and spent most of his childhood in rural New South Wales and Tasmania. He was educated at the University of Sydney and Oxford University. Hope worked as a psychologist with the New South Wales Dept. of Labour and Industry, as a Lecturer in Education and English at Sydney Teachers' College (1937-44) and as a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Melbourne (1945-51). In 1951 he was appointed the first Professor of English at the Canberra University College, holding this position until his retirement in 1968. Since this date, he has been Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. His published works include "The wandering islands" (1955), "Poems" (1960), "The cave and the spring" (essays, 1965), "Collected poems" (1966), "New Poems" (1965-1969). Hope was awarded the Robert Frost Award for Poetry and the Age Book Award in 1976, the Ingram Merrill Award for Literature (New York) in 1969, the Levinson Prize for Poetry (Chicago) in 1968, the Myer Award for Australian Literature (1967) and the Britannica Award for Literature in 1965. He was awarded an OBE in 1972 and AC in 1981.