These volumes were filled in daily for each of the four main divisions of patients in Gartnavel: West House for Gentlemen, East House Males, West House for Ladies, and East House for Females (there are also 3 volumes for a ward titled The Cottage). Within each of these divisions there a number of different wards and each volume relates to a particular ward.
Each page in the volume contains details of activities patients on that ward were involved in on that particular day as well as notes on patients who had visitors, notes on patients who were out on parole (or out on pass) and, in some cases, numbers of patients going to church, the pictures etc.The volumes also record if a patient died on that day or if a new patient was admitted that day.
The volumes were pre-printed and contain lists of activities carried out in each ward (there were separate pre-printed volumes for men and women as men seemed to carry out more manual work while the women were engaged in things like laundry, in the kitchen and doing knitting, and needlework etc.) with a space for recording how many patients were employed in that activity on that particular day. There was also space to record the number of patients unable to work mentally or physically, number of patients out of doors, number of patients on parole beyond the grounds or restricted to the grounds, number of patients wearing special dresses (locked gloves, locked dresses, or locked boots), number of patients confined to bed, number of patients in seclusion or restraint, and the number of patients having fits during the day, wet during the day, dirty during the day or taking medicine during the day.
Sometimes there are notes about patients being indoors because of poor weather. On a Sunday the number of patients at church is normally recorded. Some volumes include the number of patients dining in or dining at other wards. It seems that some attendants wrote more detailed notes than others.