The papers largely relate to Ben Parkin's activities after his election as MP for Paddington North. They have been artificially arranged beginning with a series of correspondence files (1953-1968) arranged alphabetically by surname, with the notable exception of the itinerary for his visit to Israel in 1957, which can be found in file 'I'. Constituency correspondence is combined with correspondence on a range of things and from a range of people such as United States Airways and the Union of Democratic Control. There is a letter from Hugh Gaitskell dated 14 December 1955. The remaining papers have been collected under subject headings which cover the different areas of Parkin's interests and activities.
Correspondence files are followed by general Labour Party files and files for the North Paddington constituency of the Labour Party (1946-1970) and these include correspondence, leaflets, membership cards, press cuttings, minutes, one school report for Nicholas Parkin dated 1970 and correspondence about Ben Parkin's memorial service. There is also a letter from Anthony Eden dated 4 May 1956 and a file on the general election of 1964.
Perhaps the largest section of his papers relates to his interest in housing. This series of files (1950-1969) contains a number of case papers including material relating to problems with his own tenants. There are also general housing files of information collected by Parkin including extracts of speeches and questions asked in the House of Commons. Fourteen files relate to information gathered upon the landlords that he campaigned against, including Peter Rachman. There are a number of files containing financial material, photocopied and original, relating to the business activities of questionable landlords. The remainder of this section comprises press cuttings and photographs of poor housing conditions.
There is a small amount of material relating to the issue of rearmament (1953-1969) comprising assorted correspondence, speeches, press cuttings and reports, as well as an undated photograph of Ben Parkin participating in an anti-nuclear march and a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) wristband. His concern about the use of dangerous drugs, especially 'purple hearts', is evidenced by two files (1961-1965) containing correspondence and parliamentary questions on this topic. There are also a number of general subject files (1953-1968) on such topics as Paddington Borough Council, electoral registration, prostitution and nationalised industries in Czechoslovakia and police crowd control tactics.
Parkin's collection of publications and writings (1954-1965) includes a variety of undated typescripts and published pamphlets reflecting his areas of interest especially disarmament. His papers contain a number of press cuttings (1947-1964), some of them from Soviet and Czechoslovakian newspapers. Files of personal papers (1962-1975) largely post-date Parkin's death and there is a series of correspondence between Pamela Parkin and Mrs Marcia Williams (Private Secretary to Harold Wilson), covering this period and papers about his pension. There are also letters from Harold Wilson (1969, 1974) and Michael Foot (1975). Amongst files of miscellaneous material (1918-1964) are two x-rays of Ben Parkin, one definitely identifiable as a hand.