The correspondence covers a period, 1922-1954, and consist in part of advice and editorial skills sought by students and colleagues. Havens served as a joint editor of MLN from 1928-1948, and much of the correspondence deals with the research of other scholars. The letters also offer a view of political conditions and human concerns in the periods of World War II and immediately after.
The material in the Research Series includes reprints, articles, and clippings which Havens assembled on writers and subjects of literary interest. Annotated volumes of English literature and material of Robert Southey form a large part of the Series.
Within the Writings Series are reprints of Havens's articles, 1912-1953. Drafts and notes which formed speeches he presented are included, as well as classroom notes from Harvard, 1907.
Havens spent the greater part of his career at The Johns Hopkins University. Outlines, course note, study guides, and bibliographies demonstrate the scope of his teaching career.
While serving as chairman of the English Department, he produced newsletters, 1943-1944, which give a view of the effect of World War II on Hopkins. The newsletters and a proposed curriculum for the postwar years are part of the collection.
Havens gave great attention to collecting material which enriched his study of literature. Facsimiles of documents and newspapers which describe significant events in English history are part of the collection. Of particular interest are holographic letters of Thomas Warton, Joseph Warton, Robert Southey, and Henry James.
Havens' personal life and his career were closely aligned. Apparently, he was well-acquainted with other contemporary writers. An autograph album contains holographic messages from Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and others. In July, 1940, ELH published a volume dedicated to Havens. Two copies of The Havens Volume are contained with the personal items. Information regarding the commissioning of Havens's portrait, and a list of bequests are the final items in the collection.