The Edward Johnston archive contains papers donated by Heather Child, Justin Howes, Andrew Johnston, Celia Rooke, Mariann Straub, Irene Wellington, C.T. Whall, and the Crafts Study Centre itself. Justin Howes wrote in 1987, 'the archive, although drawn from too large a variety of sources to be associated exclusively with Johnston … contains all the material for a study of Johnston's philosophy and its development'. He went on to state that 'together the collection and archive will allow researchers to look at Johnston's aims and achievements side by side'.
The archive contains meticulously-kept working diaries which record time spent on commissions, trains caught, letters received, etc; notebooks which contain teaching notes, memoranda, extracts from letters worthy of keeping etc; and four letterbooks from 1903-1944. There is a large quantity of correspondence with individuals and organisations, including with other calligraphers/letterers such as Margaret Alexander, Alfred Fairbank, Eric Gill, Graily Hewitt, C.M. Lamb, Noel Rooke, Anna Simons and Irene Wellington. There are notes and transcripts of lectures given to the Central School of Arts and Crafts and Leicester Municipal School of Art, and a complete set of lectures given to the Royal College of Art; and numerous hectographed (an early form of copying/duplication) class instruction sheets, some of which bear the names of the recipients. The archive contains a large collection of photographs, including of Johnston's demonstration blackboards, of manuscripts by Johnston, and of Johnston himself. There is also material relating to books and essays, most notably sketches/diagrams for Writing and Illuminating and Lettering together with several editions of the publication, and manuscripts of Formal Penmanship .