The Boyd-Dawkins papers provide extensive documentation of his role as an economic geologist. It includes personal letters, consultancy reports, geological sections and notes, printed evidence to official committees, company prospectuses, maps and press cuttings, and reports and letters from geologists, such as William Whitaker, Henry Godwin-Austen, and Robert Etheridge. The archive also contains useful information on Dawkins' contacts with businesses involved in the exploitation of natural resources, including water, coal, clay
WBD/1, Dawkins' personal and professional correspondence, includes several interesting items concerning the acquisition of geological and palaeontological specimens, some for Manchester Museum.
WBD/2 much material relating to Dawkins' economic geology interests and activities, including consultancies and expert opinion in legal cases. WBD/2/A deals with the numerous water supply projects Dawkins was associated with, particularly in the London area, including reservoir, power and sewerage projects, and legal cases concerning the same. Further court and arbitration cases and consultancy projects can be found in WBD/2/C and WBD/2/D.
There are a number of papers concerning the Channel Tunnel project in the 1880s, from which resulted the discovery and exploitation of the Kent coalfield (WBD/2/B), a process with which Dawkins was intimately involved.
WBD/2/E is a series of papers on Dawkins' interest in the Isle of Man, including its geology, antiquities, and the Manx language. WBD/2/F is concerned with foreign geological projects including diamond mining in South Africa, oil in Australia, coal in Mozambique, and water in Peru. The collection also includes a number of Dawkins' offprint articles (WBD/3).
The abbreviation "WBD" is used to describe Dawkins in several instances in the catalogue.