The BRI actively collects photographs, video recordings, audio recordings, books, and documents related to the folklife of the Blue Ridge, Appalachia, and Virginia as a whole. Among the many gems in the collection are the Galax Old-Time Fiddlers Convention tapes, the vast Elmer Smith Collection of Shenandoah Valley folklore, and Virginia's premier collection of African American folk music. Used by scholars, museums, teachers, and students, the archives are open to anyone interested in regional folk culture.

Some of the Blue Ridge Heritage Archives holdings, including over 4,000 musical performances and 500 photographic images, can be accessed on-line through the Digital Library of Appalachia. To go to the DLA, Click Here.

In addition, a growing portion of the archives catalog can be searched on-line. The approximate percentage of the BRHA catalog database currently online is as follows:

Audio Recordings (All Formats) -- 80%
Photographic Images (All Formats) -- 70%
Video Recordings -- 100%
Books -- 60%
Documents -- 75%


(When searching through the BRHA online catalog, keep in mind that the SUBJECT category is less specific than the Name/Description category. For example, the term ARCHITECTURE is suitable for searching in the SUBJECT category, but the term CABIN is more appropriate for searching in the NAME/DESCRIPTION category.)


The Blue Ridge Heritage Archives is open by appointment weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Click here for contact information and travel directions.