The majority of the notebooks are A5 or similar. Most of the content is handwritten unless specified otherwise.
Many of the notebooks contain transcriptions of hieratic texts from ostraca, papyri and other objects. Also recorded are transcriptions of graffiti (hieratic and hieroglyphic) and hieroglyphic texts from monuments.
Texts were often copied in situ at sites or in museums and were continually collated. Transcriptions were also made using photographs and publications as source material.
Some notebooks are thematic focusing on economic and social history issues. These subjects include Egyptian administration (nomes), prices, topography (e.g. Deir el-Medîna), etc.
Notebooks compiled from material consulted in Egyptian collections, mostly in European countries and Egypt. Černý visited museums with major collections of hieratic material from Deir el-Medîna, most notably, Museo Egizio, Turin; British Museum, London; [Ägyptisches] Museum, Berlin; and Rijksmuseum, Leiden.
Černý compiled a series of slip-indexes for the transcriptions (slip-indexes, see Černý MSS 23 to 46).