The archive's primary nucleus consists of the Collection, made up of approximately 20,000 volumes and the Valesio papers. The library consists mainly of works of literature and literary criticism, most of them in Italian and English (in addition to French, German and Spanish); many are germane to philosophy, religious studies and theology, as well as art history, sociology and psychology. The heart of the library consists of volumes of poetry, a large number of which are rare. The library also includes full year collections of various journals, and a special section of essays of literary criticism spanning forty years. The papers consist of unpublished manuscripts of poetry and narrative, as well as critical works; manuscripts with versions of published works, a vast collection of bilingual correspondence with various writers and intellectuals between Italy and the United States, covering primarily the last two decades; and also some special collections (in particular, a collection of devotional cards and another of theatrical programs and flysheets of various kinds relevant not only for the study of literary history, but also for research on sociology and folklore between Italy and the United States). Both the book and manuscript collections are growing continuously, almost daily. In addition, the CSSV has begun to receive donation offers for libraries and archival collections. This collection will come to constitute the Comparative Studies Library of the Centro Studi Sara ValesioValesio and is currently undergoing archival processing by the Centro RAM (Manuscript Research and Analysis) of the Department of Classical Philology and Italian of the University of Bologna.
Before the founding of the Centro Studi, the Valesio papers—in particular literary correspondence spanning 1957 to the early 1990s totaling 60 boxes—were donated to the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University, where they were cataloged as the “Paolo Valesio Papers” and subject to a preliminary inventory.
Some hundreds of volumes of contemporary Italian poetry were donated to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale (autonomous with respect to the aforementioned Sterling Memorial Library). However, during the nineties the donation to Yale University was suspended in view of the Centro Studi Sara Valesio project, which is now beneficiary of all future donations of books and/or papers without exception. The papers and books previously donated to Yale offer the opportunity of consultation to an international community.