The Moody E. Prior Papers fill six boxes and span the years 1924 through 1996. The bulk of the material in the series dates between 1946 and 1975. Included are biographical materials and clippings; general and subject correspondence; a number of Prior's speech texts, his Master's thesis, unpublished writings, commentaries, eulogies, notes, awards, and publication reprints.
Biographical materials include personal data, passports, the Priors' marriage certificate, the PhD diploma granted by the University of Chicago, obituaries, documents relating to real estate transactions, press releases, and clippings.
Prior's correspondence dates between 1934 and the year of his death. Files are extensive collections of letters written by Moody Prior and his friends and colleagues. One folder contains photocopies of correspondence with Prior's friends Frederick and Frances (Webb) Leishman; these copies were given to Carlene Prior in 1997. Frances Webb Leishman was a 1942 graduate of Northwestern's College of Liberal Arts.
The subject files, which are arranged alphabetically, provide a glimpse of the scope and substance of Prior's scholarly work. Most of the publications by Prior included in the collection relate to Shakespeare and other British literature, however there is an article on the character of Uncle Tom from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin that shows an interest in American literature. Other folders provide a look at Prior's more personal side, such as the drawings, music and miscellaneous folder, which contains skits, jokes and puzzles among other items. The transcripts of radio addresses that Prior delivered on WFMT are included here, as are speeches, commentaries and eulogies by Prior. Where possible, items are arranged chronologically within the folders.
Two index card file boxes hold notes that Prior may have taken as part of his scholarly research, or as preparation for lectures. Subjects include European history, political history, literature, Shakespeare, and Uncle Tom's Cabin.
An over size folder contains awards given to Prior by the Northwestern University Alumni Association.