Kelver Hayward Hartley was Foundation Professor of French in the University of Newcastle, holding the Chair from 1965 until his retirement at the beginning of 1969. Before that he was a Senior Lecturer in French at the Newcastle University College. During his time he was recognised as Australia’s leading expert in comparative Franco-Italian and Franco-Spanish literary styles.
The Hartley Collection comprises 600 books donated to the Library by Professor Hartley. Many of these books cannot be found anywhere else in Australia. Among the rarest is a 4th edition (1752) of Buffon’s Histoire Naturalle bound in the original 18th century vellum. He also made a major bequest to the University of more than $2,000,000 to enable students studying French language and literature to visit France.