The collection includes Dawson's research, writing and related correspondence, mostly about his research and manuscript drafts for materials on Henry Whiting, Hezekiah G. Wells, Della T. Lutes and minstrel / vaudeville performer Billy Clark. Boxes 1-3 are .5 cubic foot boxes and Box 4 is .25 cubic foot. The collection is organized alphabetically and chronologically.
Box 1 includes: Dawson’s research, writing, and related correspondence, 1970-1999 and undated. Most of the collection consists of Dawson’s research, photographs, drafts of manuscripts, and correspondence about republishing Della T. Lutes’ Country Kitchen cookbook. The same types of materials exist from his efforts to publish an article about Billy Clark, a Michigan minstrel. There is also a typed, 45-page paper with a variety of U. S. Centennial poetry from Michigan newspapers, compiled by Dawson. The Clarke Historical Library also houses the Lutes papers and three scrapbooks about Clark and minstrel shows.
Boxes 2-4 include: Dawson’s research, writing, and related correspondence, 1911-2007 and undated, on Della T. Lutes, Henry Whiting, Hezekiah G. Wells, and English poet Felicia Hemans (1793-1835). Also included are research materials on Michigan history, especially Michigan territorial verse, roads and taverns; the Mount Pleasant public library; Henry Rowe Schoolcraft; Mount Pleasant Woman’s Club; including the Mount Pleasant Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation and the Battle of Lake Erie.