The bulk of the letters in the volume date from 1876 to 1944, and were sent to a variety of people, the majority of whom, from the early 20th century onwards, appear to have been connected with University College, Nottingham, later the University of Nottingham. However, the letters appear to have been acquired as examples of autographs of distinguished people, rather than for the contents of the correspondence.
Among the recipients of more than one letter in the collection are:
R. Warwick Bond, Chair of English at University College, Nottingham (1857-1943)
G. Ellis Flack, Librarian at Nottingham University (1893-1978)
Professor Reginald M. Hewitt (1887-1948), Professor of English, University College, Nottingham
Josephine Knowles, playwright
Professor Janko Lavrin (1887-1986), Professor of Slavonic Languages at The University of Nottingham
Professor Henry Piaggio (1884-1967), Professor of Mathematics at University College Nottingham
Humbert Wolfe (1886-1940), writer and civil servant.
The letters are written by a variety of people including writers and aristocrats. Some of the most famous correspondents represented in the collection are Samuel Butler, Walter de la Mare, J.E. Denison, Sir Edward Elgar, Coventry Patmore, William Michael Rossetti, George Bernard Shaw, Edith and Sacheverell Sitwell, Alfred Tennyson, Ellen Carew [Ellen Terry] and Evelyn Waugh. The volume also includes two autograph poems, 'Bongwi, the Baboon', and 'Theology', by Roy Campbell.
The subject matter is miscellaneous, but primarily of a semi-official nature, concerning meetings, publications and lectures.
Some of the letters are now represented only by photocopies.