The volume is concerned mainly with affairs connected with the building of the University of Edinburgh, 1817-1822. It also lists details of income and expenditure during the period and, refers to other projects, clients etc.
Playfair's opening paragraph describes this as an abstract of a journal of "the principal transactions and events of my life, chiefly in order to prevent doubt and confusion in matters of business."
The volume mentions Playfair taking occupancy of the Mathematics classroom as his office, where his uncle (John Playfair) had taught and to the demolition of the old buildings having commenced on 23 June 1817. This descriptive section of the volume runs for 8 pages, concluding with a reference to the iron floor of the new Natural History museum. Thereafter follow 3 pages of accounts for 1817.
Frrom here, the paper size changes slightly with accounts for 1817-1822 covering 3 pages. The text concludes with "1823" but with no entries below it, suggesting that Playfair abandoned this exercise or continued it elsewhere.
Amongst the many named individuals are Playfair's Principal Clerk, James Macpherson, and temporary Clerk, John Tait.