Only heads of households are listed
The Collectors' Books are arranged alphabetically by census district. Each subdistrict is allocated a number or letter and is arranged chronologically within the census district. Many of the subdistricts include a map and a brief description of the area boundaries; all identify the collector responsible for the area.
Within the subdistrict, the Collectors' Books record the locality (including names of the street, road, gully or other variations), occasionally the number of the house, the name of the householder and the total number of persons in the household (divided into male and female). The books also list separately how many of the residents are Chinese or Aboriginal. Additional information may include the type of dwelling.
There are also census details for ships berthed in NSW ports on 31 March 1901, but these do not record names of people on board. The Collectors' Books only record the name of the ship, the type of ship and the number of people on board for each district.
Other details recorded in the Collectors' Books are the county, borough, or municipal district or ward, township/village if not a municipality, or goldfield. The number of the census district and name is also replicated on each page. At the base of the page, the statistics are aggregated and the totals are summarised in the last pages of each Collectors' Book.