Biographical Files are arranged chronologically. Biographical materials include Forrest's curriculum vitae and a chronology of his life and works (box 1, folder 1), a photocopy of pages from the family bible listing significant birthdays and events (box 1, folder 2), awards and certificates, photocopies of pages from Aitchpe, his Hyde Park High School yearbook, newspaper clippings, and correspondence (relating mostly to his work at Northwestern). The records within each file are arranged chronologically.
The Northwestern University sub-series is comprised mostly of class notes and research notes for his classes and writings. These notes are in no particular order. There are also folders relating to his teaching and as head of the Department of African American studies. The records within these three folders are arranged chronologically.
Folders in the Books and Publications sub-series contain manuscripts, galley and page proofs of his first four novels, and other writings. The folders containing the novels, There is a Tree More Ancient than Eden, “Sub-Rosa”—published previously and later incorporated into There is a Tree More Ancient than Eden–The Bloodworth Orphans, Two Wings to Veil My Face, and Divine Days are arranged in order of publication. Of particular interest is the forward, signed by Toni Morrison to Two Wings to Veil My Face (box 4, folder 3). This sub-series also includes articles by and about Forrest, the libretto to the opera Soldier, Boy Soldier, reviews of Forrest's books, and the manuscript for Leon Forrest, Introduction, and Interpretation,–a collection of literary critiques of Forrest's work edited by his friend John C. Cawelti. Box 8 contains the undated musical scores forAncestral Voices and Soldier Boy, Soldier with music by composer T. J. Anderson and words by Forrest.