The collection reflects the activities of a productive academic in the twentieth century. Accordingly the papers document Salmon’s research, creative work, professional lectures, teaching, and professional society contributions. The collection has material from the 1930s such as volumes of Erkenntnis, some materials from the 1950s, such as a copy of Salmon’s Ph.D. thesis, and some material from his first academic posts. However, the bulk of the material dates from his appointment as a professor at Indiana University in 1963 through his untimely death in 2001. The collection is organized into seven series.
The archival material includes correspondence, which is almost exclusively professional in nature. Letters and e-mails were exchanged not only with fellow philosophers of science, but also with specialists in other disciplines such as statisticians, physicists and mathematicians.
The manuscripts and working papers constitute texts that reflect Salmon’s early versions of later published manuscripts, personal copies of published manuscripts, sheets on which he worked out various logical or statistical problems, and similar material. In a few cases, there are corresponding materials for certain other philosophers who sent manuscripts to him for comment.
The professional talks include overheads, annotated outlines and notes while the teaching material relates to his teaching of classes at the university level. Again there are notes, outlines of lectures, annotations, and accompanying materials. Other material in the collection document Salmon's activities in professional organizations.
The collection also contains photographs of Salmon and his associates as well as some annotated books and pre-prints reflecting Salmon's commentary on the contents of these printed materials.