The programmes date from 1901 to the present day. However, there are very few programmes from years 1946 to 1957 inclusive. The majority of programmes in the collection originated in the Wigmore Hall Archives. However, other programmes have been acquired retrospectively – in particular for the years 1946 to 1957.
The items from the earliest years are bound in archival volumes. These include "fixtures" lists, as well as some tickets. Other early volumes have been rebound, as the original bindings disintegrated. The artist' indexes which accompanied these volumes have been preserved, as well as samples of the original bindings.
The collection largely consists of programmes and prospectuses from recitals and chamber music concerts. However, there are also items from small orchestra and small choral concerts. The concerts represented in the collection are from both externally promoted concerts and concerts promoted by the hall. There are significant numbers of programmes from concerts promoted by Ibbs and Tillett, Askonas Holt and IMG. Programmes from events promoted by the hall include concerts from the following concert series: Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts (series extant since later 1970s); Master Series, which was later called the Wigmore Series (this series includes the Song Recital Series); Pianoforte Series; BBC Radio 3 Lunch-time Concerts (co-produced with the BBC).
The programmes from song recitals include texts to sung items. In later years these have been standardised, and use the translations from the Dietrich Fisher-Diskau books of Lieder and later (from 2005 onwards) from Richard Stokes's volume The book of Lieder.
The items are arranged in chronological order. Prospectuses and concert diaries are kept at the beginning of the relevant month in which the concerts took place.