The collection consists of letters and documents concerning the van der Smissen family in Germany and Canada. The correspondence includes letters to Jacob Gysbert van der Smissen from Johann Lavator, a Reformed minister in Zurich, from Johann Heinrich Jung-Stilling, an eminent theological writer, and from Carl Heinrich von Bogatzky, an influential and prolific Lutheran writer in Germany. The remaining letters are primarily family correspondence, along with a family history, a travel journal, and the sermons of Wilhelm Leendert. It also includes W.H. van der Smisson's English translation, in the original metres, of Goethe's Faust.