The bulk of the collection consists of around 2000 items of correspondence, mostly addressed to members of Violet Fane's family during the period 1850 to 1905. Many are written by family members, but there are also letters from friends, including literary figures of the time such as Alfred Austin, Robert Browning and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, and letters from diplomats and government members. The collection includes letters written by Violet Fane herself, and letters written to her by her husbands and children. In addition, there is an earlier collection of letters from members of the Burges/Lamb family, c. 1785-1867 (Sir James Burges came into the possession of the estate of his friend John Lamb in 1821 and assumed the name of Sir James Lamb by royal license). There are also letters written to members of the family in the twentieth century, particularly to Sir Charles Lamb.
The rest of the collection consists of diaries kept by Violet Fane 1898-1905; diaries kept by her mother Anna Charlotte Lamb 1859 and 1875-1880; pen and pencil sketchbooks by Violet Fane and other family members; newscuttings relating to Violet Fane's life and work, to literary and political life, and to foreign affairs, c. 1865-1920; notebooks containing manuscript fair copies of Violet Fane's poems; manuscripts of prose articles and notes; prose and verse manuscripts by Violet Fane's daughter Sophie Singleton (Mrs Lionel Harbord); manuscript and typescript poems by other writers; a large number of photographs of Violet Fane, her friends and family, and offical portraits; printed verses, illustrated material, catalogues, orders of service etc.; and sundry papers chiefly related to Sir Philip Currie's activities in the diplomatic service.