Series I, Early Years (mostly 1924-1935 with some correspondence to 1985) is divided into five subseries: Childhood, Williams College Undergraduate Years, War Years, Harvard, and Yale.
Subseries A. Childhood consists of schoolwork and correspondence of Sawyer from grade school through his secondary education at Deerfield Academy. Also included is his Deerfield Academy Yearbook and various newspaper clippings about his school achievements.
Subseries B. Williams College Undergraduate Years includes several report cards, newspaper articles from both The Williams Record and Sawyer's hometown newspaper, articles from The Purple Cow humor magazine authored by Sawyer, and commencement programs as well as Sawyer's undergraduate degree.
Subseries C. War Years consists of official documents and information regarding Sawyer's service in the war as a naval officer for the Office of Strategic Services in Algiers, France, Italy and other parts of Western Europe. Included here are reports of U.S. intelligence.
Subseries D. Harvard is made up of correspondence and papers relating to Sawyer's coursework at Harvard as a member of the Society of Fellows as well as his work as a Assistant Professor of General Education and Economics including course syllabi and examinations. Articles about the Society of Fellows (notably the Gershenkron article) and correspondence regarding continued involvement in the Society are also included.
Subseries E. Yale is comprised of course materials, correspondence, and Yale Faculty vs. The Headmasters hockey game programs from Sawyer's time on the faculty at Yale as an Assistant Professor of Economics.