The papers of the Society include:
- General files on the foundation and early years of the Society, reports and minutes of its committees and other meetings.
- Correspondence with the Society's councillors and officers.
- Financial records, including ledgers and annual balance sheets form 1933 to 1977.
- Subject files, arranged alphabetically by file title, including correspondence concerning the Society's main fund-raising appeals in the 1930s, papers relating to the 1940 internment crisis, and extensive lists and indexes of refugee scholars, arranged by subject, nationality and religion.
- Correspondence with British organisations, which reflects the Society's co-operation with other national and local refugee organisations, national societies, government ministries, universities and colleges; and with Austrian, German, Czech and Polish support groups based in Britain.
- Correspondence with overseas organisations, which throws light on the Society's links with international institutions such as the League of Nations and with refugee and other organisations in many countries, notably France, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
- Correspondence with individuals who helped the Society.
- Publications about refugee problems.
- Personal files on scholars assisted by the Society, which form the core of the archive. They are arranged alphabetically by person within subject discipline, from Archaeology to Theology with a medical sciences sub-series. The case files typically contain curricula vitae and references for the scholars, and correspondence relating to their removal from their country of origin and to their search for new employment. In some cases correspondence continued for many years, and files frequently include later press-cuttings and obituaries. The files thus contain a wealth of biographical information on a number of refugees, including many of the most eminent scholars in their fields.
- Files containing correspondence with the Home Office on the naturalisation of foreign scholars, and files of articles and pamphlets published by the scholars.
- Case files of individuals who applied to the Society, but who were not registered with or funded by them. These include academics who found other means of support, university research assistants and technicians, teachers in non-university institutions, and professional writers and lawyers.
The Society's history to 1958 was written by Lord Beveridge, and published as A defence of free learning (London, 1959). Sir Norman Bentwich's book, The rescue and achievement of refugee scholars (Amsterdam, 1953), sets the Society's work in the wider context of refugee assistance movements, although with some factual inaccuracies. Readers will also find useful information in the three volume International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Emigrs 1933-45, ed. H.A. Strauss and W. Rder (Munich, 1980-3).