The Collection contains a wide assortment of disparate documents and topics, all pertaining to Nova Scotia, a few involving New Brunswick. The documents were generated between the years 1748 and 1991, and extend its contents as far back as the seventeenth century and Nicholas Deny. As a whole, much of the document types include: historical notes, compilations (obituaries from the newspaper Advocate, 1924-1988, covering Cumberland County), addresses, and published articles; newspaper clippings; genealogy notes; family and government correspondence; business financial records, provincial accounts and reports. Contains histories written about industry, religion - churches, natives, Land Company, science and medicine, education, currency, and maritime matters - armed vessels; and contemporary documents relating to land and property, family history, transportation, literature, office holders and government finances, and education - schools, and public finance.
Specific to material generated before the twentieth century, examples include genealogy notes in family bibles, an account book of Robin's firm (Isle Madame, Cape Breton?, mentions carpentry work done in other coastal areas in New Brunswick and Gaspe), school rate payers (Shelburne, 1884), promotional flyer for a vegetable cure for diseases of the skin (1895), newspaper clippings of poetry,1827 census papers, brief summary of Nova Scotia by Charles Morris, provincial Treasurer's accounts (examples - 1. relating to roads and bridge work in the 1840s, much in the Antigonish area, 2. gold fields and immigration in the 1860s, 3. expenditures for salary of the lighthouse keepers at St. Paul's Island and Beaver Island, 1847-8)), Currency Commission Minutes which contains an extensive discussion on what currency should be considered legal tender (1834), reports on the state of the province (1748-1782), petitions from the inhabitants of Kings County and Halifax (1757), correspondence of Captain Alfred McNutt and narrative by Capt. Joshua Slocum concerning sailing (circa late 19th c.), and a reminiscence of a supper with Joseph Howe (1856). Also includes various documents pertaining to county boundaries and the expenses of surveys (many name labourers and contractors). Surveyor General Charles Morris and deputy surveyors generated much of the documents of the last category: Wentworth Taylor, Laurence Buskirk, Whitman Freeman, John Holmes and William O'Brien. For this period, topics range from local history, geography and description, demography, transportation infrastructure, monetary systems and government finance, and literature, and to a lesser extent, health and medicine, and education.