The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between Ward and family members and friends between 1893 and 1915. Correspondence between Ward and his mother reveals aspects of turn-of-the-century Wilson. Her letters reflect concern at being a widow and trying to raise and educate her sons (Jan. 24, 1897), manage her hotel (Sept. 13, 1898), and operate a farm in the county. References are made to various social activities, including a traveling freak exhibit (Nov. 14, 1897).
Additional correspondence pertains to several educational institutions. Letters of Needham Ward note aspects of life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Of particular interest are references to baseball games (Mar. 21, 1897; Apr. 9, 1897), attitudes of upperclassmen toward freshmen (Sept. 12, 1897), the construction of an Alumni Building (Oct. 24, 1897), the novelty of women in post-graduate work (Oct. 8, 1897), and courses offered (Oct. 8, 1897; Sept. 18, 1898). Also of interest are letters pertaining to N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (Dec. 13, 1893); Massey Business College, Columbus, Georgia (Aug. 4, 1897); and Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (1898).
Miscellaneous correspondence includes a letter from Weigand, Nebraska, describing the climate and topography of the state, crops grown, native trees, and winter blizzards (Feb. 8, 1896). Letters from collectors contain listings of "curiosities" for sale (1894-1896). Also of interest is a letter from the Typewriter Exchange in Chicago, Illinois, which contains samples of typewriter print and their prices (Apr. 5, 1897).
Post cards, including one depicting early twentieth-century Greenville; advertisements; and receipts comprise the collection's miscellaneous items.