Though labeled a library, the Danowski Poetry Library may best be described as an entire archive unto itself. Besides books and serials, the collection includes a robust collection of manuscripts, posters, audiovisual material, and author files, all dating from the 1930s. Its archives include author files, from Ted Berrigan and Gwendolyn Brooks to Williams Carlos Williams and Richard Wright; counterculture materials, including South African political posters, Black Panther newspapers, and flyers relating to the Diggers; and material on the Irish Troubles.

One robust archive within the archive are holdings related to Alice Notley, the late Ted Berrigan, and their circle. These include rare publications, unique books, holiday cards, notebooks, and other one-of-a-kind objects, often made in collaboration with Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard, Harris Schiff, and others.

Highlights include: