These records contain information related to the formation of Robert College. They document the founders' attempts to define the mission of a Christian college within the Ottoman Empire, their efforts to obtain permission to purchase land, and gain necessary permits to build upon the site.
There is correspondence between Cyrus that details Hamlin's many difficulties college a reality. The letters also reflect his somewhat strained relationship with E. Joy Morris, the American Minister in Istanbul. Christopher Robert's letters provided direction and encouragement to Hamlin, and in addition relate some events of the American Civil War as viewed from New York. Included is a single file of letters from Hamlin's brother, Hannibal, who worked in the Treasury Department and thus provided Cyrus with some account of the war from his post in Washington.
The records contain correspondence between Robert and Hamlin regarding the purchase of instructional materials, a list of Robert's donations, and the items purchased. The expenses of the college's first year are part of the financial record. Included is correspondence from Hamlin relating to the 1862 murder of Rev. William Merriam, an American missionary in Turkey. There is also a narration of the origins of the college (undated) prepared by Christopher Robert.