The main and original part of the volume is the index (folio 8) and catalogue (folios 9-124) 'of the Books, which belonged to Sir John Henderson, Bart., of Fordel, deceased', to which heading a later hand has added 'in Dalry House, Edinburgh'.
The catalogue is divided into the following sections: 'History, British and Irish Antiquities, Biography, Heraldry, Voyages and Travels' (folio 9),
'Miscellaneous, including Poetry, Translations, etc.' (folio 35),
'Divinity and Ecclesiastical History' (folio 54),
'Arts and Sciences, Medicine' (folio 60),
'Law, Scots and English' (folio 77),
'Libri Classici; et auctores recentiores, Gr. et Lat.' (folio 88),
'Dictionaries and Grammars' (folio 101),
'Livres François' (folio 110),
'Libri Italiani' (folio 122),
'Books of Prints, Maps, Music, odd volumes, Tracts bound and detached' (folio 122).
Each of the sections is subdivided by size, and arrangement within the sections is roughly alphabetical. The cost of each book is written beside the title.
Inside the front cover are notes of books lent and returned; there are also a list of the numbers of the books packed for removal (folio 1); and a combined index and shelf catalogue, with notes to locate odd volumes out of their normal place (folio 3 verso). Following the main catalogue is a list of octavo and duodecimo volumes roughly in alphabetical order, which were 'sent to Polton, 22nd July, 1820' (folio 125); a 'Catalogue of Books which belonged to Sir John Henderson, Baronet, in his house in Charlotte Street', 1820 (folio 128); and a catalogue, written on paper watermarked 1824, of the 'Books in the Pavillion Press’ (folio 138). These last two collections consist largely of foreign works. On folio 146 is a 'List of Books in Window’, including the title of a work published in 1833. The catalogues on folios 128-146 were found loose in the volume and inserted.