The Joaquín Díaz Foundation was created in 1985 as a result of an agreement between the "Diputación Provincial" of Valladolid (Provincial council) and the folklorist Joaquín Díaz whereby he made over his collections (prints, "pliegos de cordel", library, recordings and instruments) and had them to be displayed in the eighteenth century mansion the provincial council owns in Urueña.
The current building was inaugurated in March 1991 and since then, its research collections have been open to scholars and its museum display to the general public.
The Library (over 25.000 books) specializes in the oral tradition ("Cancioneros", "Romanceros", fairy tales, legends, proverbs, sayings, riddles, tongue twisters, popular literature, etc.). It also contains books about crafts, trades, chalcography, costumes, popular theatre, instruments, dances, games, agriculture, ethnography, architecture, local tales, etc).
The Sound Archive and Video Library house about 25.000 field-work recordings mainly from Valladolid and the provinces of Castile and León, in addition to about 1.500 records of folklore music from all parts of the world.
The Museum houses the most extensive and comprehensive collection of traditional musical instruments from Castile and León, comprising 1.200 pieces made by artisans and luthiers or donated by collectors.
The collection is divided into the four conventional families of instruments (Aerophones, Idiophones, Chordophones and Membranophones).
There is also a room dedicated to show phonographs and gramophones of the collection Luis Delgado-Gema Rizo, with more than 60 pieces.
About two hundred songs, "romances" and documents, mainly from the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, chosen from among the seven thousand odd items kept in the library, are displayed on eleven boards according to the most common themes: adventures, crimes, religion and superstition, sensational events, etc. The "pliegos" were printed by typographers from all parts of the country ("El Abanico","Universal", "Rodas", "Norte", "Santaren", etc.) and hawked by blind singers, hucksters and pedlars.
The Museum also displays over one hundred pictures chosen among nearly two thousand illustrations kept in the Foundation. They represent men and women from the nine provinces of Castile and León, clad in ordinary and festival garb. They are drawn from travel books, picture collections and artistic publications in Spain, France, England, Germany and Italy in the past three centuries.