The bulk of the collection relates to the first thirty years of the Company's existence, and consists chiefly of reports and correspondence. From 1780-1813 the Company's engineer was William Jessop of Butterley, and his reports and correspondence survive in the collection. Most of the letters, reports and other papers were drawn up or collected by the Clerks to the Trent Navigation Company. This role was filled for many years by members of a Newark firm of solicitors, among which were Job Brough, Edward Smith Godfrey and Edward Tallents.
Later items deal with the relationship between the Company and the railways in the 1840s. There are also documents relating to a number of lawsuits in the 1880s which followed the great floods of 1875 and 1877. Finally, there are documents dealing with the opposition of the Trent River Catchment Board, 1931-1934, to the Navigation Company's last works before it merged with the Board in 1940.