This collection contains a wide-ranging body of documents concerned with the various works undertaken by the Scriptural Knowledge Institute. It contains: documents pertaining to missionary schools outside of the UK supported by the Scriptural Knowledge Institute, documents pertaining to a school within the UK supported by the SKI, and papers related to the establishment and maintenance of the SKI itself, as well as the life of its founder George Müller.
The first series is concerned with the running of multiple missionary schools in Guyana and Italy. These schools provide cheap or free religious education to poor children and they are supported by the SKI, both financially and with regard to religious materials. The collection details the day-to-day challenges of running such schools, for example the constant financial struggles faced due to underfunding. Many of the papers are concerned with budgets and accounts, and with ways to save money and to make ends meet. They also give an in-depth insight into the administrative maintenance of the schools, showcasing the teachers' needs and problems, as well as the lives of the pupils and the education that they receive. The papers also show the efforts of the men of the SKI to keep the schools running, through their correspondence with each other and with the teachers and other support staff. The Guyana papers in particular give an insight into life in a missionary context.
The second series contains the documents pertaining to the maintenance of the SKI-supported school for poor children at Purton, Gloucestershire, UK. Religious affiliation was not a factor in the admittance of a pupil or employment of a teacher at this school, although the papers do suggest that the religious conversion of the pupils was important. Like the papers of the missionary schools abroad, this collection contains the papers connected to the day-to-day running of such a school. The men of the SKI responsible for this school are often the same as those connected to the Italian schools and again this collection demonstrates through their correspondence their commitment to its maintenance, though much of this collection showcases the eventual closure of the school due to it becoming financially untenable. Much of the collection therefore deals with accounts and expenses, as well as with issues of employment and the careers of the teachers. This collection gives more insight into the lives of the pupils, the work they undertook and the school trips they partook in, and gives a good insight into their lives after school.
The final series is concerned with Müller himself, his life and work, and the work of others connected to the Institute, such as missionaries or preachers. The collection nevertheless gives a good general account of the work of the SKI, though many of the documents are concerned with Müller's personal history and his individual work. This series contains more religious material than the previous two, showcasing the religious affinity of Müller and the spiritual aims of the SKI. There are many documents pertaining to doctrinal discussion and religious discourse, and some material relating to Müller's involvement in minor divisions within the Open Brethren.