The collection consists of manuscript writings, notebooks, miscellaneous papers and correspondence. It is representative of her working and private life with items dating from her time at university, throughout her career and marriage to Edwin Muir, until her administration of Edwin's work after his death.
Willa Muir kept journals, and wrote poetry (much of it humorous), articles, essays, radio scripts and novels. Her work as a translator of Kafka and Broch is also represented in the collection. Willa Muir's papers reveal her to be an inveterate note maker; shopping lists jostle for position alongside notes on the superiority of women, and scraps of poetry are jotted onto the backs of envelopes. For her subject matter Willa Muir often drew on her own experiences. She was a sharp eyed observer of human nature and expert in describing social situations. Willa Muir was always eager to experience the many different cultures in which she lived, approaching each new country with pragmatism and an open mind. At the same time she showed a deep appreciation of her own national heritage as a Scotswoman. The central relationship of her life, her marriage to Edwin Muir, is also represented in personal letters sent when they were parted and poems written for each other.