Jean Hartley's personal archive reflects her 30 year friendship with Philip Larkin and includes several letters from him, papers relating to her autobiography 'Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press and me', published in 1989, and correspondence with contributors to the Larkin Society newsletter 'About Larkin'. There are also some manuscripts and typescripts by both Jean and her acquaintances.
The collection includes Jean's personal correspondence, including numerous letters from literary figures such as Ted Tarling, Tony Harrison, Maurice Rutherford and a small number of letters from Philip Larkin [U DJE/1/10/1-8]. There is also a file of correspondence relating to the Marvell Press, including letters about 'Listen' and other publishing projects [U DJE/1/1/1-16]. Further correspondence relating to the Larkin Society and Jean's published books is organised within each appropriate series.
There is a large amount of material relating to Jean's writing endeavours, both published and unpublished material. There are some typescripts for short stories and an autobiographical text to supplement 'Philip Larkin, The Marvell Press and Me' [U DJE/2/1/1-6]. Pertaining to her published books ('Philip Larkin, The Marvell Press and Me' and 'Philip Larkin's Hull and East Yorkshire') there are contracts, correspondence as well as detailed notes on amendments to 'Philip Larkin, The Marvell Press and Me' following legal advice [U DJE/2/2/1-2/3/8. U DJE/2/2/2 is closed until 2064 under the Data Protection Act]. The collection also includes research material for 'The Wayward Girls', a documentary Jean Hartley produced for Radio 4, focusing on the experiences of unmarried mothers in the 1950s [U DJE/2/4/1-12]. A large bundle of unsorted fan letters is also held here [U DJE/2/6].
The collection also includes material relating to Jean's Larkin Society activities, which is arranged in subject files. The series includes further correspondence (mostly with Larkin Society members) regarding Larkin Society affairs including the Larkin Trail, Larkin in Context Conference and Birthday Walks [U DJE/3/1/1-11, U DJE/3/3/1-8].
Jean edited issues 1-6 of 'About Larkin' as well as jointly editing issues 15-16 and there are files relating to the production of each issue [U DJE/3/2/1-8]. There is some other Larkin Society material, as well as Jean's notes and correspondence on Larkin Society affairs and correspondence regarding campaigns regarding PAL's legacy in Hull [U DJE/1/3/3].
There is also material connected with television productions and plays about Larkin to which Jean and Maeve Brennan contributed. This includes scripts and newscuttings, and comments and some suggestions for amendments. There is material for 'Philip Larkin: Love and Death in Hull' (produced by Oxford Film and Television), 'Love Again' (World Productions), 'Larkin with Women' (written by Ben Brown), and 'Pretending to be Me' (written by Tom Courtenay), together with various other newscuttings. [U DJE/4]
The collection also includes a significant amount of material relating to Jean Hartley's close friend Maeve Brennan. This includes personal correspondence and material relating to her book, 'The Philip Larkin I Knew' [U DJE/1/3]. There is also material on the issue of 'About Larkin' which she co-edited, newscuttings related to television productions as well as material relating to her death and legacy. Much of this material is incorporated within other original subject files [U DJE/1/3/1-19, U DJE/3/2/7-8, and U DJE/4/1/1-7].