The papers contain very little biographical information, being concerned almost entirely with Metcalfe's geological research. There are many photographs of geological sites including ancient volcanoes in Derbyshire, the Giant's Causeway in Ireland, and sites on the west coast of Scotland.
Metcalfe's notebooks (1867-1926) contain catalogues of geological specimens, and research notes. There are a number of printed maps from the mid-nineteenth century covering South Devon and parts of Scotland and the North West of England. Further printed matter includes off-prints from geological journals from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century.
The only correspondence in the collection relates to Metcalfe's appointment as Senior Fellow of the Geological Society.