Over a thirty year period, beginning in the 1920’s, James Taylor Adams amassed a collection of approximately 13,000 typed pages documenting the history and Folklife of western Virginia and southern West Virginia, primarily focused on Wise and Lee Counties. A majority of the collection is housed at the Clinch Valley College Library; however the Blue Ridge Heritage Archives holds a copy of a majority of the original collection thanks to a preservation grant in the 1990’s. The collection is approximately 24.5 linear feet.
This collection is made up of blues, rhythm & blues, bluegrass, and early country music recordings. The collection contains
|35||45 r.p.m Records|
|21||33 1/3 r.p.m. albums|
|1,779||78 r.p.m albums|
Alan Lomax spent a majority of his life documenting and preserving the folk music traditions of the world, both on a personal level and professionally for the Library of Congress. Lomax focused on the concept of cultural equity and hoped that his documentation of folk music would work to provide all cultures with valid media and educational representation. Between 1948 and 1983, Alan Lomax traveled the Appalachian and Piedmont areas of Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. As an ethnomusicologist, he spent his time recording and documenting folk music traditions of the region. In the early 2000’s the Alan Lomax Archive & The Association for Cultural Equity donated copies of all of Lomax’s recordings from the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Region to the Blue Ridge Institute.
Elmer Lewis Smith, professor at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, was a noted author, researcher, and leading authority on the sociology of the Pennsylvania and Virginia Germans. He collected information by interviewing local knowledgeable citizens, by reviewing published and unpublished works, and collecting art, furniture, dishes, and other artifacts of the German culture. Many of the items were photographed and many of his interviews were taped. Following his death, his widow donated a large portion of his materials to the Blue Ridge Institute.
This collection consists of years of live music recordings from major Virginia and North Carolina Music Festivals, rare field recordings of traditional musicians, and even some unreleased studio tapes. There are thousands of recordings on reels and cassette tapes. Not all of this collection has been digitized.