The material is presented in the order given in the List of Contents. There is good documentation of Richards's research and lectures on nmr and an extensive scientific correspondence.
Section A, Notebooks, brings together research notes, student records and notes and drafts for lectures in this format. It includes a Colyton Grammar School notebook with sixth form physics experiments, first year undergraduate essays written for H W Thompson and, from the period of Richard's Research Fellowship at Harvard 1955, lectures by E M Purcell on nuclear magnetism.
Section B, Research, presents the material relating to Richards's scientific research not in notebook format. It includes early work with H W Thompson on penicillin as well as the later nmr work. Oxford Enzyme Group papers are not presented here. They will form a separate collection for deposit in the Bodleian Library.
Section C, Lectures and publications, presents lectures material not in notebook format and material relating to Richards's publications and editorial responsibilities. Documentation of his own publications is slight with the exception of the second (1964) edition of Numerical problems in advanced physical chemistry, prepared with J H Wolfenden and E E Richards.
Section D, Oxford, is very slight but includes material relating to the Natural Science Club of which Richards was secretary for many years until 1976.
Section E, Societies and organisations, documents Richards's association with nineteen British organisations including the Advisory Board for the Research Councils, the Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development, the Chemical Society and the Royal Society, and one European organisation, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory which he advised on nmr. The Royal Society material includes comprehensive records of Richards's chairmanship of its Hooke Committee, the committee responsible for organising Royal Society discussion meetings and review lectures.
Section F, Visits and conferences, is very slight but includes material relating to a visit to the USSR in 1963 and a number of nmr conferences, especially in America.
Section G, Correspondence, is the largest in the collection. Richards's correspondence files relate principally to his undergraduate chemistry students at Lincoln and those who researched in various capacities in his laboratory. There are also important sequences of correspondence with manufacturers of nmr equipment including the Perkin-Elmer Corporation and Varian associates.
Section H, Biographical, presents material for a 'profile' of Richards's career. There is also documentation for posts he was asked to consider but declined, including a Harvard Professorship in 1956. Photographs are also presented in this Section.