The original materials of the Frederic B. Crossley Papers occupy three boxes and span the period 1910 to 1938. An addition seven boxes of correspondence, spanning the years 1905-1930 was later added to the collection.
With the exception of five folders of biographical materials (mostly financial records) the Papers consist almost exclusively of correspondence.
The general correspondence pertains primarily to Crossley's legal practice and to his interests in real estate. A substantial amount is with his brothers regarding commercial and family matters. Other letters deal with the upkeep of Crossley's home in Wilmette and his life insurance policies. Little relates to Crossley's work at Northwestern.
The subject correspondence deals mostly with Crossley's work as a Justice of the Peace in Wilmette and his efforts to promote the Order of the Coif at Northwestern and nationally.
Addition, Boxes 4-16
This addition consists of correspondence reflecting the variety of duties performed and positions held by Crossley at the Northwestern University School of Law, where he acted as Librarian, Secretary, Professor, and assistant to Dean Wigmore. The arrangement of the correspondence follows Crossley's original order, which included both general and subject categories and chronological and alphabetical orders. Seven boxes contain general correspondence, arranged alphabetically, spanning the years 1906 through 1912. The correspondence in Box 11 is arranged alphabetically and then, within each folder, chronologically. Letters D-K, N, and X-Z are missing from this box. The final four boxes contain subject correspondence, spanning the years 1905 through 1930, which is arranged chronologically within the respective subject titles.