The collection consists of a number of files on particular issues that Johnson was active in, plus printed materials, photographs (some of which can also be found in the Fred Westacott Collection (FW) and memorabilia.
The memorabilia consists or a card and postcard addressed to Mick Kane (1897-1965). Photographs include: a photograph of the Young Communist League at the MayDay protests in 1949; photographs of supporters of John Peck in election campaigns (one is dated May 1962); a CND demonstration; a photo of Harry Walker (CPGB member Bevin Boys Hucknall no. 1). Also two photographs moved from the folder MS 1037/3 'CPGB East Midlands and earlier' of Dick Mee, Nottingham and District CP Organiser 1920-1925 and a 20th anniversary photo in front of Greyfriars Hall, Nottingham dated 1940.
As a trade union activist he was associated with the Evening Post dispute and one of the files includes research materials he was gathering in later years, alongside material from the 1978 dispute including campaigning leaflets and flyers. Also present is a paper by Barry 'From Nottingham to Wapping: The Lockout Road'. The dispute involved a strike by 28 reporters and sub-reporters as part of a wider provincial journalists' strike, who were then sacked for 'disloyalty' by Managing Director Christopher Pole-Carew (the only provincial paper not to take back its journalists at the end of the strike). The strikers set up a rival paper, Nottingham News, which received public support, and the Evening Post suffered a drop in circulation over the strike (Forest Manager Brian Clough refused to have anything to do with the Post).
The files relating to his Communist Party activities include correspondence, flyers and newspaper cuttings concerning elections in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.
Some of the documents relate to issues within the CPGB, while one letter refers to Laura Johnson, Barry's mother, and the failed attempt to send her for a while to the Lenin School in Moscow.