The Mary Henrietta Peters papers comprise seventeen diaries and associated loose pages written by Peters over the course of her life.The diaries consist of tablets, most spanning one calendar year. In the pages of these tablets, Peters recorded her daily activities and household tasks, such as cooking, laundry, and childcare. The entries also describe social events and get-togethers with siblings and family friends as well as noteworthy community events including births and funerals.
Digital materials supplement the physical diaries. These include photographs of family members, as well as digital images of the physical diaries taken by Peters' grand-nephew, Ed Jacobson. In 2014, Dr. Lisa Guinn, a visiting assistant professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and Rio Farren, an undergraduate history major at Upper Iowa University, transcribed the diaries. All of these materials, including the diary transcripts, are preserved in the Iowa Digital Library.