The Gradwell collection contains material covering the following subjects: theology, philosophy, church, secular and local history, ecclesiastical history, art, architecture, sociology, education and works of general reference. The Gradwell has a substantial quantity of primary recusant material from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; this includes devotional works, sermons, tracts, pamphlets, biblical studies and more. Donations and subscriptions aside, the book collection has not been added to since 1975 when the College ceased to operate as a seminary, however, the journal and periodical collection which is mainly theological, has been kept up-to-date. The collection is particularly strong in Catholic studies with standard works of Catholic reference and extensive runs of Catholic periodicals and journals of use to all levels of research.
The collection houses a section devoted to the Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010 and soon to be canonised before too long. The Newman section contains a generous corpus of Newman's own published works (including first editions) and books on or related to Newman. This scholarly resource is complemented by the availability of a recently updated extensive collection of Newman related publications from the main Sheppard-Worlock Library collection. The collection also includes, preserved on microfilm, the diaries, letters and miscellaneous documents from the Cardinal Newman archive held at the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, in Birmingham. Also in the Gradwell Collection is a significant collection of St. Thomas Aquinas material.