The collection comprises correspondence, diaries, journal articles, lectures, leaflets, manuscripts, memoranda, minutes, notes, newscuttings, reports, conference papers, speeches, talks, photographs, postcards, posters, menus and other ephemera. They document Crisp's long career as a public servant, an academic and a writer and his participation with a number of organisations and government bodies. The bulk of the papers consists of subject files covering a wide range of topics which Crisp had meticulously maintained and added to over the years. Other papers relate to his early career with the Commonwealth Public Service, his academic years at the Canberra University College, the Australian National University, the Australian Labor Party and the Commonwealth Banking Corporation. The correspondents include Des Ball, W. Macmahon Ball, Kim Beazley, Brian Beddie, Herbert Burton, Gerald Caiden, Sir John Crawford, Lionel Godfrey, Hartley Grattan, Gordon Greenwood, Sir Paul Hasluck, Colin Hughes, Harry Keen, John La Nauze, Henry Mayer, Louise Overacker, Gordon Reid, Clinton Rossiter, Peter Ryan, Stuart Sayers and Richard Spann.