If you have items you wish to donate to the museum’s collection or loan for a special display, please contact Emily Robinson, Curator of Collections:
416 State St., Suite A
Bristol, TN 37620
Please include a detailed list of item(s) you wish to donate along with photographs, if you have them. If accepted for the museum’s permanent collection, your donation will be cared for according to the best archival standards that the museum can reasonably accommodate. We reserve the right to refuse donations of items that do not relate to our mission or of items that we are not able to care for well.
Items that we are particularly interested in acquiring include:
Items relating directly to the Bristol Sessions or early country/hillbilly music, including recording materials, photographs, documents, artifacts such as instruments or clothing, and sound recordings.
Interviews (audio and/or video) with country music musicians and country music recordings.
Instruments similar to those that may have been used in the Bristol Sessions.
Limited-run country and bluegrass recordings as well as limited release local and regional compilations, particularly those that have gone out-of-print.
Periodicals and books on country and bluegrass that are no longer in publication.
Items relating to country music radio particularly in the Bristol area or in the upper southeast. We have particular interest in WOPI and WCYB in Bristol.
Items related to early sound recording and reproduction (sound recording and playback devices, early sound recordings (1890s—1910s)).
Items that complement our large existing holdings of Tennessee Ernie Ford sheet music, documents, photographs, recordings, and memorabilia.
We also selectively collect early jazz, blues and popular music recordings, as well as items relating to gospel music in the upper southeast.
Instruments, clothing, artifacts, photographs, and ephemera that do not relate to the above categories may still be considered for inclusion in our collections if they are of exceptional importance and cultural value.
Items that we are not interested in:
General record collections of post-1960s music that are unrelated to country, bluegrass, and old-time in the upper southeast.
Record players that are in non-working condition, unless there is some overriding cultural or historic value.
Drawings, paintings, or other country music artwork, unless there is some overriding cultural or historic value.
Small collections of newspaper clippings or scrapbooks, though large collections that follow the work of a single artist may be considered.
Recordings made after the 1940s that are poorly preserved (excessively dirty, scratched, or worn), or which are missing original packaging, unless there is some overriding cultural or historic value.
We will rarely accept donations that come with stipulations about the length, frequency, or location of their display in the museum or any other caveat about the item’s use, display, or disposal.