The content consists of documents gathered into two numbered prefixed bundle systems, (bundles AP 5 - AP 155 & X/1 - X/73). The documents relate to the Dukes of Atholl’s administration of the Isle of Man, with the majority of material comprising incoming and outgoing correspondence, reports, minutes, books, legal papers, historical papers and financial papers. Various subjects covered within the deposit include Acts and Bills (Manx and British), accounts, agriculture, archaeology, art, banking records, buildings (including maintenance and remodelling), Manx coinage, customs and the Derby family.
Other subjects present within the deposit include Manx domestic matters (such as living conditions, famines, naturalisation, health, population), the Duke’s Manx estates (for example Lough House and Castle Mona), ecclesiastical matters (academic funds, Bishoprics, Bishopscourt, Tithes, Roman Catholics on the Island) and education (the academic school, Castletown Grammar, Peel Academy).
Fiscal matters such as the Island’s revenue and taxation, highway constructions (bridges and roads), the history of the Atholl rule of the Island (falcons, Atholl accession, Duke’s claim the Derby estates, the Revestment Act of 1765), legal matters (admiralty court, appeals, chancery court, criminal court, legal cases, deeds, wills, prisoners), legislative material (the council, Tynwald, resolutions from the House of Keys, observations, appointments, resignations, speeches, protests, petitions, elections and addresses) and the Manx mailing system are topics covered within the deposit.
Other subjects include manorial items (rents and payments, leases, parishes), the Manx language, military matters (defence, non-Manx troops, East India Company, Irish Regiments, Royal Manx Fencibles, and Volunteers), Manx industry (coal, fishing, mills, mining, quarrying), nautical matters (steam packets, ships, boats, wrecks, Royal National Lifeboat Institution), newspapers and material on various individuals (for example, Attorney General, Governors, Deemsters, High Bailiff, Receiver General ).
Further subjects present within the deposit include the problem of smuggling on the Island, trade on the Island such as imports and exports (merchants, brewing & distilling, cotton spinning, herring curing, inns and inn keeping, limekilns, linen manufacturing, papermaking, rope making, salt making, smelting, snuff making, soap making, starch making, tobacco, wine & spirits, woollen manufacture) and transport around the Island.
Further material includes a series titled ‘Books 1-128’ (book 127 missing).
- Books 1-49, 94, 104 and 109: Revenue books (1736-1795 & 1813)
- Books 101, 121 and 126: Account books
- Books 50-67, 86-87 and 102: Minute books (valuations and reports) regarding the Duke’s sale of the Isle of Man’s Bishopric Demesne Lands, Tithes and Advowson to the British Crown 1826-1828 (outsize item included)
- Books 68-69, 74-76, 81-82, 88, 91-93, 95 and 98-99: Letter Books (1757-1825)
- Book 70: Minute book relating to the House of Keys regarding a petition made by the Duke (1805)
- Books 71-72 and 77-79: Report books for further compensation for the sale of the Isle of Man to the British Crown (1805)
- Book 73: The 4th Duke of Atholl’s writings from 1774-1806
- Books 80, 103, 105-108, 113 and 115-120: Legal books (Deeds and Trust deeds)
- Books 83 and 97: Record books of public papers (1812-1813)
- Book 84: The Diary of the 4th Duke of Atholl (February 1813 - March 1813)
- Book 85: General statement book (1813)
- Book 89: Treasury cash book (1755-1765)
- Book 90: Tynwald Court book (1796)
- Book 96: Book relating to the Isle of Man 1810 census
- Books 100 and 112: Memorial books (1830-1839)
- Books 110-111: Speech books
- Book 114: Rent book for Scottish land (1765)
- Books 123-125: Customs books (1755-1765)
- Book 128: Outsize book of Manorial accounts (1788-1817)