The Collection consists of three sections. The first contains letters to William and Eliza Oldham from William and Mary Howitt and their daughter Margaret, written between 1869 and 1889 from Rome and the Austrian Tyrol. They cover chiefly current affairs and domestic issues.
The second section consists almost entirely of correspondence of a personal nature, to Henry Septimus Sutton and his second wife, Mary, written between 1845 and 1908, from literary and artistic friends including George MacDonald, Francis Power Cobbe and Christina G. Rossetti.
The third section consists chiefly of newspaper cuttings, photographs and printed and autograph poems by a number of authors.