Archives and Special Collections

The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room houses Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's archives and special collections. We are open for phone/virtual reference by emailing [email protected] or calling us Monday-Friday from 9AM-5PM at 704-416-0150. We prefer to provide limited copies of materials in our collections via email in response to inquiries. If your research will take significant time or if we cannot provide sufficient information virtually, we are open for on-site visits by appointment only. Please submit a Research Visit Request form or contact us using the phone/email above to schedule an appointment.


Archives and Special Collections Holdings


  • North Carolina History and Culture Collection contains materials about Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and North Carolina history and culture. Highlights of the collection include Charlotte and Mecklenburg County government documents, Mecklenburg County newspapers in print and on microfilm, and books about North Carolina history, biography, environment, foodways, geology, geography, music, etc. It also includes Mecklenburg County school yearbooks (public and private), local vertical files, and city directories.

  • Genealogy Collection contains worldwide genealogical materials. Highlights include North Carolina records county-by-county, published family histories, and the family-name vertical files. This is the largest public-library genealogy collection in North Carolina.

  • Archives which collect materials about Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and other Mecklenburg County municipalities (Huntersville, Pineville, Mint Hill, Davidson, Cornelius, etc.). Highlights include extensive maps of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County over time, Charlotte Observer photographs (published and unpublished), family and individual manuscripts, etc. Archival Finding Aids are keyword searchable.

  • Rare Books Collection contains books on many topics, but most fall into one of the collections described above. Some books are original to or even pre-date the 1903 Carnegie Public Library collection and are considered rare for that reason. They are retained even if they do not meet the collection guidelines for the modern special collections of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.



Digital Resources

The Archives & Special Collections maintains numerous digital resources available to customers, including:

  • The Vault: A digital repository of Archives and Special Collections materials. Free and available anywhere. Includes La Noticia digital archives.

  • Charlotte Observer Archive: Full holdings of Charlotte Observer articles from 1888 to today. Library card number required, available anywhere.

  • Ancestry Library Edition: Full access to free of charge. Customers must be on a Library network (i.e. connected to public Wi-Fi or on a public computer at a branch) to access.

  • FamilySearch Affiliate Access: Full access to FamilySearch Affiliate materials free of charge. Customers must be on a Library network (i.e. connected to public wifi or on a public computer at a branch) to access.

  • Research Guides: More information about conducting history and genealogical research, including other resources maintained by our partner institutions.


Follow Us!

Love the Carolina Room? Join our Facebook group to ask questions to staff, discover historical photos, learn interesting facts and stories from Charlotte Mecklenburg past and have fun in an online social community with other history lovers in the County. You must have a Facebook account to join our group.