Materials relate primarily to the professional life of John Herbert, between 1953 and 2001, including manuscript and typescript poems, plays, works and essays, as well as ephemera relating to his works. The ephemera covers publicity, advertising and programs of his theatre productions. Outside of his theatre career, there are also materials pertaining to his personal life. Newspaper clippings document his opinions on social issues such as homelessness, unemployment, and the rights of gays and lesbians. Herbert also wrote biographies and photographic histories of his own personal life from childhood to early adulthood. Other textual materials include published works mentioning Herbert in reviews of his works and life.