Launched in 2012 by the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library, the concept of the Appalachian Dulcimer Archive was conceived ten years earlier by David Schnaufer, adjunct instructor of dulcimer at the Blair School of Music. Envisioned as a "sound museum," the archive features sound clips played on historic dulcimers. The archive also documents historical instruments, providing photographs, dimensions, and provenance.
The Appalachian Dulcimer Archive is divided into three distinct collections:
- The Straight-Sided Dulcimer in Tennessee: Information and photos for the dulcimer variant known locally as the "Tennessee music box" from throughout the Middle and West Tennessee cultural region, with data collected chiefly by Sandy Conatser and David Schnaufer.
- The David Schnaufer Instrument Collection: Information and photos for the historical dulcimers of all types from the personal collection of David Schnaufer, now chiefly held by the Tennessee State Museum. Documentation and descriptions by David Schnaufer, Zada Law, and Sandy Conatser.
- David Schnaufer Audio Files: Sound files of folk songs recorded by Schnaufer on historical instruments.