A large number of the sources used were at the Advocates` Library, and of these many had previously been in the possession of Sir James Balfour of Denmilne, Lord Lyon King of Arms (for example, the charters (now in Adv.MSS.15.1.18 and 15.1.19) excerpted at folio 91, and what follows, and folio 263, and what follows, and the cartularies excerpted at folios 1-8, 22-33, 43-49 verso, 230 verso-274 verso), as had the manuscript (now British Library, Harl MS. 4693) once in his possession which is the source of the copies and extracts at folios 214 verso-219 verso. Further information came from sources privately owned or personally communicated or forwarded to the compiler by Sir Robert Sibbald and other persons in Edinburgh and Fife.
The compiler is unidentified: the collection has been ascribed (for example, in ‘Regesta Regum Scottorum’, volume ii) to Richard Augustine Hay, but the hand does not seem to be his, and he appears to have been out of the country whilst the information was being recorded. Two small pieces of paper containing notes in the same hand have been tipped in at the back of the volume (folios 279, 281). Notes on fishing are written in another early 18th-century hand on some of the blank leaves at the end (folios 286 verso-287). Documents contained in collections already amongst the Advocates` Manuscripts have not been separately indexed.