This material was collected over the course of Marr's career. Some early material relates to his time in the United States Marine Corps. Some earlier material dates Marr's postgraduate studies and the Berkeley Free Speech movement in the 1960s. Most papers are related to Vietnam, including material collected while he was co-director of the Indochina Research Center in the 1970s and while editor of Vietnam Today,1978-1982. Some of this material was collected for the IRC by John Spragens.
Most papers related to Marr's academic work in the 1970s-2000s, including papers and material for his MA thesis, as well as monographs and books edited by Marr, including 'Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th Centuries', 'Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920-1945' and 'Vietnam: State, War, and Revolution (1945–1946)', and 'Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power'.
Other material covers the Vietnamese Union Cataloguing Project and projects relating to Vietnamese scripts on computers in the 1980s-1990s, including the Vietnam Internet Project (VIP). Marr's involvement in Australian-Vietnamese scholarly exchanges in the same period also forms part of the collection.
Some material in this collection contains accounts of torture and/or images of injuries.