The collection is particularly noteworthy for its coverage of Adams's lectures, research and incoming correspondence.
Section A, Biographical, is not substantial. It includes a little material of Adams's relating to his own career including three Bedford School notebooks and his PhD thesis, and material assembled by I M James during the preparation of his Royal Society memoir.
Section B, Research, provides extensive documentation of Adams's research from the 1950s until his death. It is presented in an alphabetical sequence arranged by subject title.
Section C, Lectures, is the largest in the collection. Two subsections comprise Adams's lecture notes and other teaching material for courses given at Manchester and Cambridge, and material from conferences and seminars attended by Adams throughout the world including drafts of Adams's contributions and notes of contributions by others. A third subsection consists of Adams's ms notes found in filing cabinet drawers labelled 'Other people's lectures'. It includes notes taken by Adams as an undergraduate at Cambridge in 1949.
Section D, Publications, is very slight. It includes drafts of a few of Adams's scientific papers.
Section E, Correspondence, contains virtually no extended exchanges of correspondence as very few copies of Adams's own letters survive. There is, however, significant correspondence from colleagues such as M F (later Sir Michael) Atiyah, M G Barratt, P J Hilton, I M James and S MacLane, sometimes extending over a period of twenty or thirty years.
Adams, John Frank (1930–1989), mathematician