Special Collections

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library System has combined holdings of over 400,000 items and a yearly circulation of over 1,600,000 items.

There are several distinct collections within the library system along with important partnerships with local historical societies.

Adult Literacy/ESL Collections

The Central Library and Northside Library each have an Adult Literacy/ESL Collection. These collections include "high/low" (high interest/low reading level) stories at various levels, bilingual dictionaries, grammar and language instruction books, audiobooks, DVDs, and other materials of interest to adults increasing their reading skills, English as a Second Language learners, and to adult literacy/ESL tutors.

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Albemarle - Charlottesville Historical Collection

The Albemarle - Charlottesville Historical Collection in the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society building at 200 Second St., NE, contains over 2,000 books and bound periodicals, as well as photographs, manuscripts, maps, pamphlets, newspapers, and vertical files relating to the history of our community.

Bestsellers Collection

When you just HAVE to read the latest best-seller, it’s worth a visit to the Central Library, the Crozet Library, the Gordon Avenue Library, the Greene County Library, Louisa County Library, Nelson Memorial Library or Northside Library to take advantage of the Bestsellers collection.

Here’s how it works:

  • select a book from the special Bestsellers Book Shelf - this contains "High-Demand" titles
  • 7-day loan period, no renewals
  • Bestsellers can be returned to any branch
  • a $.50 per day late fee will apply
  • NO HOLDS are allowed on Bestsellers books.

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Blue Ridge Life Magazine Archive

In partnership with the Rockfish Valley Foundation, Nelson County Life and Blue Ridge Life back issues are available for review and download.

Use the Nelson County Life Index
to access the Nelson County Life Issues: April 2005 - December 2012

Use the Blue Ridge Life Index 
to access the Blue Ridge Life Issues: January 2013 - April 2021


Find more recent archives at the

Source publication

Community Journals

Community Journals are a way to create community through journaling, as library users read what others have to say about a topic, and then add their own perspective. These journals are dedicated to housing the thoughts, feelings, ideas, and creativity of the entire JMRL community. Join the conversation! See the list of journals

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Jazz CD Collection

The Gordon Avenue Library has almost 300 compact discs devoted to jazz music, tracing the history of this art form from its inception to the present day. The collection was initially seeded by a gift from the Carter Beauford Family and enhanced by a grant from the Bama Works Fund of the Dave Matthews Band.

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Library of Things

The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional library items that complement the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library’s mission to foster personal growth and life-long learning for all by connecting people with ideas, information, and each other. Collection of equipment and experiences.

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Local Voices Collection

The Local Voices Collection supports and showcases the creativity of the JMRL community and contains donated material from local writers, musicians, and filmmakers.

About the Collection

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Historical Periodicals Collection

Back issues of historical periodicals from Virginia and the United States. Includes newspapers such as the Daily Progress (1893-2018), the New York Times (1940-1984), Washington Post (1973-1987), Central Virginian (1928-1975), and Greene County Record (1903-2014), as well as magazines such as Ebony (1969-1991), Life (1955-1999), Virginian Cavalcade (1951-2002), and Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (1893-2006). The collection is primarily available on microfilm and microfiche. A reading machine is available at Central Library.

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Nelson Historical Society Archives

In partnership with the Nelson Historical Society, the archives are available at the Nelson Memorial Library. For best service, a request submitted in advance to info@nelsonhistorical.org with the Accession Number, Title, and Location and planned date of visit will facilitate the archivist in having items readily available in advance of your arrival.

About the Collection

Play Collection

The Central Library has a collection of over 400 scripts from Dramatists Play Service and Samuel French, Inc., as well as plays in collections. Everything from Abie’s Irish Rose to The Zulu and the Zayda.

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Roland E. Beauford Sr. African-American Collection

The Gordon Avenue Library houses the Roland E. Beauford Sr. African-American Collection. The collection includes a selection of the best books and other materials, fiction and non-fiction, by or about African-Americans.

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