The papers of the Sargent family deal primarily with Henry Bradford Sargent and his activities in the Yale community, from his participation in the Sheffield Scientific School class of 1871 through his tenure as a member of the Yale Corporation from 1902 – 1920, and including numerous other offices held during and after his study at Yale. There are many papers concerning Yale buildings, and many concerning Yale athletics, especially crew. Having been an oarsman for Yale, Sargent retained an interest in rowing, and the collection includes papers on the building of the Yale boat house and on the four-oared crew which went to Philadelphia in 1876.
The bulk of the papers is made up of correspondence, office files, financial papers, printed matter and memorabilia from a multitude of Yale offices and organizations. Sargent corresponded with many Yale officials; among those represented here are George A. Adee, Walter Camp, Russell H. Chittenden, George Parmly Day, Henry W. Farnam, Arthur T. Hadley and Anson Phelps Stokes.
There is, in addition, one box of papers related to other aspects of Henry B. Sargent's life. Much of this material consists of business papers—note of Sargent's hardware manufacturing company, concerning his personal investments, primarily in real estate. Other materials include records and correspondence from social and political organizations, papers concerning a golf club designed by Sargent and an oven designed by Edward Atkinson, memorabilia and miscellaneous correspondence. An addition to the collection (box 6) includes materials relating to other Sargent family members.