The earliest original item in the collection is a contemporary copy of a Letters Patent of Henry VIII to William Bolles, of the reversion of the Rectory of Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, dated 1538. The collection lacks some of the essential elements of a full estate archive (there is for instance no series of deeds), and includes very little material from before the joining of the Chaworth and Musters estates by the marriage of John Musters with Mary Ann Chaworth in 1805.
The vast majority of the documents are estate papers from the 19th century, referring to the Chaworth-Musters properties at Annesley, Felley, Colwick, Sneinton, Carlton, Wiverton, Tithby, Cropwell Butler, Edwalton and West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. These comprise a relatively small part of what would have been the full archive for the estate. There are for instance no records of title except for a single conveyance to John Chaworth Musters dated 1877. A number of 19th and early-20th century plans of the estates are present, together with surveys, valuations, inventories, sale catalogues, rentals, accounts and disbursements, of similar date. One of the account books details John Chaworth Musters' expenditure on hounds at kennels at Wiverton. A small series of testamentary papers includes draft wills of John Musters (d 1849) and John Chaworth Musters (d 1877). The only family settlement present is a late-17th century draft settlement of the estates of Patricius, 3rd Viscount Chaworth.
Family papers include grants of arms, dated 1683 and 1806, and a photographic copy of an ornate bound pedigree of the family dating back to 1581. Three mid-19th century travel diaries record journeys in Italy, Spain and the Middle East, and one journal contains notes of a clergyman's charitable visits in Annesley and Kirkby-in-Ashfield in the 1850s.
Among the few printed papers and ephemera present are a copy of an account of the sacking of Colwick Hall in 1831, and a Bill for raising money in compensation. There is also a copy of a verbatim report of the trial of Lord Byron for the murder of William Chaworth in a duel in 1765. An account book of the Overseer of the Poor for the parish of Tithby, Nottinghamshire, 1756-1806, is a stray which must once have formed part of the parish collection.
There is a substantial series of family correspondence dating back to 1825. Part consists of 19th-century letters sent to various members of the Hamond family. The letters were given to the Chaworth-Musters family at Annesley by Fanny Hamond in June 1900. Further sections relate to the Lowe/Sherbrooke family. The majority of the correspondence consists of letters home from Patrick, Jack, Anthony, Phil, Bob and Douglas Chaworth-Musters, on active service in the First World War.