The papers of William G. Eliot include diaries, letters, published works, published and unpublished sermons and talks, newspaper clippings of articles written by or about Eliot, photographs; and biographical and other material about Eliot. Also included in the collection are enslavement documents, which include letters and bonds of indemnity as Eliot purchased enslaved persons in order to emancipate them.
The Jarvis Thurston Papers consist primarily of correspondence relating to Washington University's Department of English and its visiting writers program. The most significant part of the Thurston collection is the correspondence from James T. Farrell to Thurston and Van Duyn. These letters are of a more personal nature and often discuss literary matters such as Van Duyn's work. A small group of manuscripts, notably two drafts of a Thurston short story, "The Cross," is also included.