The collection comprises twelve boxes of notes on family crests and mottoes, mainly compiled from printed works by John Radcliffe of Greenfield near Oldham, Lancashire. The notes may have been assembled in preparation for a book on heraldry, though Radcliffe is not recorded as the author of any such work. The contents of the boxes are as follows:
- Eng MS 428 (box 1): Family Mottoes, A to J;
- Eng MS 429 (box 2): Family Mottoes, L to Z;
- Eng MS 430 (box 3): Family Crests, Acorn to Birch;
- Eng MS 431 (box 4): Family Crests, Bird to Cypress;
- Eng MS 432 (box 5): Family Crests, Dagger to Fetterlock;
- Eng MS 433 (box 6): Family Crests, Filbert to Hands;
- Eng MS 434 (box 7): Family Crests, Hare to Lion;
- Eng MS 435 (box 8): Family Crests, Lion to Moorsheads;
- Eng MS 436 (box 9): Family Crests, Moorcock to Stag;
- Eng MS 437 (box 10): Family Crests, Stag to Yoke;
- Eng MS 438 (box 11): Index I, A to Le (14 stitched gatherings and one detached board);
- Eng MS 439 (box 12): Index II, Le to Z (6 stitched gatherings and numerous loose sheets).
The compiler may have been the same John Radcliffe who edited The parish registers of St Chad, Saddleworth, in the county of York, 2 vols (Uppermill: 1887 and 1891).