The Lawrence Collection contains in its various sub-groups extensive materials by and about D.H. Lawrence, ranging in date from his childhood to records of recent conferences and other scholarly activities of contemporary Lawrencians.
Original manuscripts by Lawrence, including his correspondence, give the Collection its primary significance. From its first development, a strength has lain in Lawrence's early work, particularly the poems of his Nottingham and Croydon years. Very substantial acquisitions of original material were made in the 1990s, more than doubling the Collection. Pre-eminent among these recent additions has been the George Lazarus Collection, with its rich coverage of Lawrence as a poet, novelist, short story writer, translator, essayist, correspondent and critic.
A particular strength in the core Lawrence Collection lies in the breadth of associated material. His local origin, attendance at the University College Nottingham, extended family contacts and friendship with many local people are all aspects of his life which have contributed to create a strong local heritage. This has been supported by local activities over the years, celebrating his life and work, which have in their turn generated papers for preservation.
As the Collection has grown, it has inevitably gained significance as a resource for research into Lawrence's family and extended circle of friends, who appear in it as correspondents, biographers and commentators.