The Adrian Gibson Collection consists of approximately 19,000 photographic slides and 900 papers, illustrating principally British vernacular architecture but also including examples of gothic, renaissance and baroque edifices, as well as archaeological ruins. With a focus on the development and permutations of timber-framed buildings throughout the British Isles, the collection records distinct timber features that emerged between the 12th to 17th centuries.
The slide collection also contains examples of ecclesiastical buildings dating back to the 11th century in both England and France. Slides of distinguished ruins such as Jumièges Abbey can be found next to slides of intact churches such as Castle Hedingham Church. Despite the focus on architectural documentation, Adrian's keen archaeological interest never left him. This results in the collection including archaeological excavations showcasing discoveries such as pottery, tools, military equipment and items of personal use. In addition to its use as a tool for recording, the slide collection was used extensively by Gibson while lecturing in both academic and amateur contexts, sharing his knowledge and encouraging others to champion the historic built environment.