The three volumes in this series are one of several collections made by the Office of the Royal Commissioners in June 1853. They contain correspondence and papers showing how the Great Exhibition was set up and organised, from original proposals by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, through the setting up of the Royal Commission to run the exhibition, to the minutiae of organising and running the exhibition.
The first volume contains a list of the individual documents, citing their date and the number with which each has been stamped, and by which they are arranged (in straight numerical sequence) within the volumes. Also included are lists of prize winners, and copies of tickets, signs, posters and other ephemera relating to the day-to-day running of the exhibition.
Although these volumes are described in the introduction as 'that of the most complete collection that has been formed and which is deposited amongst the papers of the Royal Commission', they are not complete since a sufficient number of copies of each paper was not preserved to supply the whole of the collections; those which are not in this collection are marked with a cross in the main catalogue held at the National Art Library.