Alberta Burke first fell in love with the idea of collecting when she encountered the Sara Mencken Collection while a student at Goucher College. She and her husband Henry Burke became life-long collectors of Jane Austen, compiling one of the finest collections of Jane Austen. They collected through correspondence with book dealers and on their numerous trips to England.
This collection documents their collecting habits through correspondence with various book dealers. Mrs. Burke also collected newspaper clippings and articles with mentions of Jane Austen and compiled these into ten notebooks. The collection also includes ephemera, photographs, memorabilia and audio files.