The papers of James Howard Pim contain personal documents, letters, memoranda, notebooks, press clippings, photographs, printed items and maps. The printed items have been kept with the papers because they complement the papers and in many cases have annotations in Pim's handwriting.
Subjects of interest include Ireland, the South African War (in particular the Siege of Kimberley), Johannesburg municipal affairs, politics, race relations, native welfare, education, economics, accountancy, art, literature and Quakerism. (For details of subjects see p.32). The term "native" has been used throughout the Inventory to describe the black people of South Africa because in the years when Pim was interested in black welfare, "native" was the legal and acceptable word and is the one he himself used, Through His brother, Sir Alan William Pim (1670- 1958; a distinguished colonial civil servant), Pim became well informed on Indian affairs and on the question of the Protectorates of Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland.
J.H. Pim corresponded with many people of note such as Sir Herbert Baker, D.C. Boonzaier, Central Louis Botha, Lord Buxton, L. Curtis, G. Dawson (editor of the Times), Sir Patrick Duncan, R. Fry, G. Goodman, General Hertzog, J.N. Hofmeyr, D.D.T. Jabavu, Sir Godfrey Lagden, T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia), F.S. Malan, Lord Milner, Lady Phillips, C.J. Rhodes, Lord Selborne, Field-Marshal J.C. Smuts, W.E. Stanford, P. Wenning and A.B. Xuma.