These papers relate to Potter's work whilst an employee of the Trent River Authority, and his subsequent research. The geographical focus of his work tends to be the Trent Basin or the Authority's Catchment area, but some files relate to other areas of specific relevance, such as the Humber Estuary and the River Churnet at Staffordshire. No personal material is present, although some files of correspondence contain incidental biographical information.
The bulk of the collection consists of files (HRP/F), which usually contain a combination of correspondence, data, rough notes, reports, newspaper cuttings and photographs. The majority cover the 1950s to the 1970s but many were originally River Trent Catchment Board files which were created in the 1930s, and the data collected within them can date back to earlier centuries. Topics represented include the erosion and transport of sediment, the relationship between precipitation, run-off, evaporation and ground water in a series of small experimental catchment areas, the hydrology and geology of various river basins, flooding and rainfall records, and the history of the River Trent. There are also files on specific areas of the Trent River Authority's work, including Flood Protection Schemes, and the development of the network of recording and gauging stations. A small number of files contain his correspondence with particular academics. Manuscript notebooks (HRP/N) contain handwritten notes, and there is also a series of collections of academic articles and technical reports (some by the Trent River Board/Authority) compiled by Potter to assist with his work (HRP/Pr).
A number of files containing his publications including drafts and related correspondence, have been drawn together (HRP/Po), though it is not necessarily comprehensive. It includes reports on the history of the River Leen in Nottingham, the history of the River Trent, the use of historical records to obtain hydrological information, and various papers on sedimentation and experimental catchments. Also present are draft scripts for a BBC local radio series written and delivered by Potter (in conversation with various experts) entitled 'The Smug and Silver Trent'.
There is also a large series of rolled plans (HRP/P) which include architectural drawings and elevations of Wilford Suspension Bridge, dated 1905, a number of maps and plans marked to show areas affected by storms and flooding as far back as 1875, and a small number of packets of folded plans (HRP/Pk) which relate closely to similarly organised material in the records of the Hydrology Section of the Trent River Authority (RH/Pk).