The Collection's primary significance lies in ten medieval manuscripts which include a number of important vernacular literary texts from the 13th to 15th centuries. Works in English, French and Anglo Norman, and two texts in Latin, range in subject from romance and poetry to moral literature for the laity and lives of saints.
The volumes are unusual in their long history within a family library collection and in their relative lack of physical attention since the middle ages. Some clearly suffered damage and loss of bindings or leaves over the centuries, but only a few have been the subject of extensive modern conservation. While this means that the works are generally fragile, they also retain important evidence of their medieval creation, including binding structures.
The Collection also includes over 40 published works and many printed pamphlets from the original Wollaton Hall Library. Titles range from the 16th to 19th centuries. As with the manuscripts, many of the works are fragile and show evidence of earlier repair and rebinding. The subjects are varied, but there is a particular concentration of travel writing. Of special note is a copy of Samuel Purchas, 'Purchas his pilgrimes, containing a History of the World in Sea Voyages and Land Travel by Englishmen and Others' (London: 1625), which drew on the travel literature collected by Richard Hakluyt. Seventeenth and early eighteenth-century perceptions of foreign lands and cultures are further represented in the Collection in texts concerning Russia, China, Egypt, Turkey, the East Indies and other territories.
The final small group of papers includes loose papers, broadsheets and newspaper cuttings relating to diverse subjects, with particular relevance to the East Midlands area. They were traditionally housed with the printed works in the Collection.