The papers provide comprehensive documentation of most aspects of Phillips's career. The principal topics of his research are covered in full, including early work on acridine at Ottawa in 1951, myoglobin and lysozyme at the Royal Institution, and later work at Oxford on protein folding and mobility, triose phosphate isomerase, -lactalbumin, -lactamase etc. The records are in the form of laboratory notebooks, notes, drafts, data and correspondence with scientific colleagues. An important feature of the collection is the extensive material relating to Phillips's Directorship of the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics at Oxford: the establishment, organisation, administration, equipment, staffing, funding and research strategies of a major research laboratory. There are records of university teaching by members of the laboratory and notes of Phillips's own lectures on molecular biophysics and related topics at Oxford beginning in 1964 while he was still at the Royal Institution and negotiations for the move to Oxford were under way. There are also substantial records of the very considerable part Phillips played generally in Oxford science administration.
Phillips's wide range of professional affiliations and activities at national and international level are extensively documented. There are records of his involvement with learned societies, organisations, advisory boards and consultancies such as (in the UK) the British Association for the Advancement of Science, British Crystallographic Association (Founder President), Celltech, CIBA Foundation, Institute of Physics and the Royal Society; and (internationally) the Biozentrum Basel, the European Molecular Biology Organisation, the Harvard-Monsanto Research Agreement, the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Institut fr Biochimie and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. There is a particularly full record of visits and conferences and invitation and public lectures covering the period 1957-1993 and extending over a wide range of topics, objectives and venues. The topics include Phillips's research, the research of his laboratory, science education and, increasingly in the later years, science policy and research funding. Phillips's own publications are documented, including a very considerable assemblage of material for his Royal Society memoir of W.L. Bragg; his service on many editorial boards and his advice to publishing houses are also documented. There are records of Phillips's career as a government adviser, from his appointment as part-time Chairman of the ABRC in January 1983 through his appointment as full-time Chairman from April 1990 to the period following the General Election of May 1992. Phillips's scientific correspondence is extensive. It is primarily concerned with protein research and includes useful exchanges with colleagues on myoglobin and lysozyme; there is also further material relating to W.L. Bragg.