The diary entries consist of records of personal experiences, and rambling didactic essays. The topics include observations on religion, philosophy, current events, sex, education, music, art and literature; there are copies of songs and music, a complete essay on marriage, and accounts of travels, notably a journey to Glasgow, 1822 (MS.6260), and a sea-trip to the Irish coast (MS.6272).
Some miscellaneous newspaper cuttings and catalogues are inserted in the diary; and there are drawings of animals (MS.6267, folio 9) and cross-sections of islands visited on the Irish trip (MS.6272, folios 26 verso, 33 verso-34, 38 verso).
The diary is incomplete. The first book, containing the account of the trip to Glasgow, bears no number, and by its construction and early date does not appear to have formed part of the diary series. The others are marked ii-xliv, but fifteen volumes are missing, and pages are half torn away from those remaining.