The papers are almost exclusively concerned with Pringle's scientific career and include virtually no documentation of his unusually wide range of outside interests. There is a full record of his research notebooks and notes, 1934-1982, of teaching and administration at Cambridge and Oxford, and of lectures and publications, 1949-1982. There is a full account of the protracted struggles over the siting and design of the new Zoology Department at Oxford; many of the files were prepared by Pringle himself and reflect his own awareness of the historical value of the material. Pringle's interest in science in the Third World is shown by the full record of his involvement with the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) at Nairobi, where he was a member of the Governing Board from 1972 (Chairman from 1973) to 1978 and a director of a major project from 1973.
The supplementary papers provide additional material relating to Pringle's career at Oxford: negotiations relating to the offer to Pringle of the Linacre Chair of Zoology, his involvement in the establishment of the multidisciplinary School of Human Sciences, and service on committees.