Many of the ballads are accompanied by letters or notes regarding the source and other matters, ranging chiefly from 1800 to 1815. Among those who send ballads or information are James Hogg, William Laidlaw and his family, James Skene, Joseph Ritson, John Leyden, and David Herd. A large number of ballads appear to have been collected between 1813 and 1815 by Thomas Wilkie, Bowden. The letter-writers include the Reverend George Paxton, 1804 (folio 171A), and Dr Mackintosh Mackay, 1831 (folio 265).
The poems other than ballads include satires by John Skinner, author of ‘Tullochgorum’ (folio 100), poems in the autograph of John Richardson (folio 27), ‘Rorie Gill’, attributed to Joseph Train (folio 190), and a song by James Hogg (folio 243 verso), all of which appear to be unpublished, and the following:
‘The Battle of Sempach’ [?1818], in Scott’s autograph, differing from the published version (folio 200);
Lines written by Scott  to the Countess [? Walonieff] in Naples, in his autograph (folio 203);
‘The Lawyer and the Bishop’ , in Scott’s autograph, differing slightly from the copy in MS.855;
Scott's Epilogues to the play of “St. Ronan's Well”, 1824, and to a play about Queen Mary, undated, with a letter of Scott of 1824 (copies) (folios 267-269).