The papers include correspondence, diaries, notebooks, writings, wills, scrapbooks, albums, genealogical records and memorabilia of several generations of the Schwab family. Principal figures are Gustav Friedrich Schwab; his wife, Eliza Catherine Von Post Schwab; and their son, John Christopher Schwab. The papers of Gustav Friedrich Schwab include business correspondence during his presidency of the firm of Oelrichs & Co. in New York and travel diaries (1843-1846). An additional diary (1883) records his travels during the opening excursion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The papers of his wife contain an autograph album and diaries (1847-1877). The papers also include material of the German poet Gustav Benjamin Schwab, who was the grandfather of John C. Schwab. The papers of John C. Schwab include his student notebooks both in the United States and in Germany, with half of one notebook (1887-1888) devoted to the lectures of the historian Heinrich von Treitschke.