Biographical material is not extensive. An overall sense of Davies's life and work is provided by the contents of his 'Personal' folder of biographical notes, curricula vitae, lists of publications, examples of projects undertaken, etc. There is a little material recording Davies's schooling and university education and some documentation of his career. An unusual insight into the companies for which Davies acted and individuals with whom he came into contact later in his career is given by a collection of his business cards, some annotated. Also documented in this section is Davies's interest in various types of puzzles. There is a little posthumous material, including obituaries. As a number of biographical papers have been retained in family hands, some of the material is photocopy only.
Research material forms the largest part of the collection. These materials were found in Davies's labelled 'transfer cases' or box files which form the basic unit of organisation. There is a sequence of 'Notes of Miscellaneous Scientific Work', covering an extended period, 1952 - 1996. The contents of many of the containers relate to Davies's security interests with material from 1970s onwards, for example 'Data Security MS Notes', 1978-1984 and 'Public Key Ciphers' (two containers), 1970-1997. Papers relating to packet switching are to be found in Section F Historical Topics.
Papers relating to lectures and publications, presents sequences of papers designated by Davies as either lectures of publications. The lectures sequence covers a relatively short period, 1990-1995, and relates to computer history and security questions. The publications material covers a much more extended period, 1956-2000, and includes off prints, photocopied papers and copies of the journals in which publications by Davies appeared. There may be additional material relating to Davies's lectures and publications in other sections of the catalogue, especially Research and Historical topics and Correspondence.
Societies and organisations, is not an extensive section, comprising just four bodies, covering the period 1987-2000: British Computer Society, international Council for Computer Communication (ICCC), Royal Society and Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
Papers relating to consultancies, provides documentation, 1986-1998, relating to a small number of consultancies which Davies held after his retirement from the National Physics Laboratory.
Papers relating to historical topics, presents important documentation of some of Davies's most important research, such as packet switching, as well as interest he pursued in his spare time such as Second World War cipher machines. These materials were found in Davies's labelled 'transfer cases' or box files which form the basic unit of organisation. There are interesting records relating to early computers organised in relation to a meeting held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pilot Model ACE (Automated Computing Engine) in the year 2000. Packet switching is represented by a sequence 'Historical Notes / Early Packet Switching etc' 1949 - 2000, which includes copies of original documentation and historical reflections by Davies and others. There is an extensive record of Davies's interest in the history of cryptography including correspondence with others who shared his interests, typescript drafts of articles by Davies, photographs and photocopies of original documentation. Also represented in the section are Davies's interests in the history of the National Physics Laboratory itself and the Turing Machine.
Correspondence, is not extensive and is presented in four sequences. The first is the contents of Davies's folder of 'Misc. Correspondence', 1970 - 2000. Although the great bulk comes from the last fifteen years of Davies's life, the sequence also includes three letters from Sara Turing, mother of Alan Turing, 1970 -1971, relating principally to their mutual interest in Second World War German cipher machines; of publications correspondence, 1988-1999; and of correspondence relating to a patent case 1994-2001. There is also an index of correspondence.