As of September 17, 2021, the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room has temporarily closed to the public in order to prepare for our pending move out of the current Main Library building. We will be unable to access materials in the Carolina Room collection for up to 6 months following this closure. If you need an item that is available only within our collection, we recommend emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the nature of your request. We will add your request to our fulfillment backlog and process it once we have access to our materials again. While we will not have access to all our materials, we do look forward to resuming limited public service again later this fall.
For immediate help with research, genealogy, and other special collections requests, we recommend reaching out to the following organizations:
Charlotte/Mecklenburg County History and Culture
- Charlotte History Toolkit (Guide to using freely available sources to research the history of your own home or neighborhood)
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (Information about historic buildings in Mecklenburg County)
- Charlotte Observer Digital Archives (Full run of Observer microfilm. Requires Library Card to access)
- CM Story (Digitized images and exhibits on Charlotte and Mecklenburg County)
- History South (Large cache of writing and research conducted by Tom Hanchett)
- Johnson C. Smith University Archives (Special focus on the Black experience and neighborhoods of Charlotte)
- UNC Charlotte Archives (Charlotte-specific archives)
- Polaris 3G (Mecklenburg County Real Estate/Property Information)
- Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds (Deeds recorded on or after 01 March 1990)
- Meck ROD Historical (Deeds recorded on or before 28 February 1990)
- State Library of North Carolina – Genealogy Section
- West Boulevard Branch Library (Circulating genealogy collection, Family Search affiliate access, Library card required for computer use)
- All CM Library branches have access to Ancestry Library Edition, which includes all Ancestry and Fold3 materials for free (Library card required for computer use)
- Many county public libraries in North Carolina have local history sections that can help with genealogy questions
North Carolina History and Culture
- DigitalNC (Includes statewide digitized maps, newspapers, yearbooks, city directories, etc.)
- Special Collections Research Center at NC State University (Focus on agricultural, engineering, architecture, etc. history of North Carolina)
- State Archives of North Carolina
- State Library of North Carolina - Government and Heritage Library
- Wilson Library at UNC Chapel Hill (Includes the Southern Historical Collection)
South Carolina History and Culture (Charlotte-Metro)
- Richland County Public Library – Walker Local and Family History Center
- York County Public Library – Local History Area
- Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
- Free Legal Answers (NC Bar Association)
- Law Help NC
- Legal Aid NC
- North Carolina General Statutes
- North Carolina Administrative Code
The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, a department in the Main Library, houses historical and current information on Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and North Carolina. It also contains genealogical resources from all fifty states in print and online, the largest collection of family history materials in a North Carolina public library!
Carolina Room Services
- Speakers Bureau - Carolina Room Staff are available to give talks on local history and genealogy. We offer this service at no charge to your organization.
- On a limited basis and for a fee, the Carolina Room staff may answer research questions for persons contacting us from outside Mecklenburg County. View the Reference and Research Policy for more information.
Carolina Room Collections
Carolina Room materials are for reference use only and may not be checked out. You can find them in the Library Catalog by searching for materials using the location "NCR" (North Carolina Room). Our special collections include the following:
- Image Collection – photographs and postcards of people, buildings and historic scenes. We also house most of the Charlotte Observer negatives from 1956-2000.
- School Publications – Yearbooks from Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. Older yearbooks are also available online at DigitalNC.org.
- Family Research Computer Center – offers free access to Ancestry.com's Library Edition access and other websites useful for local history and genealogy research. A sizable collection of genealogy resource CD-ROMs is also available.
- Manuscript Collection – includes family, business and non-profit records and documents.
- Music Archive – We have one of the largest collections of local music in North Carolina. From gospel to country, bluegrass to folk, rock to hip-hop, the music of the Carolinas can be discovered in the Carolina Room. Recordings may not be duplicated and listening sessions are by appointment and for research purposes only.
- Historic Maps Collection – offers a variety of historic and modern maps for the region and the Carolinas.
- Vertical Files - may contain newspaper clippings, annual reports, brochures, maps and other small, ephemeral materials related to Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the Carolinas. They will turn up in searches of the online catalog.
- Microfilm – includes county records for Mecklenburg and all other North Carolina counties as well as historic and current newspapers. Microfilm scanner/readers are available to display and make digital or paper copies of pages from the microfilm.
- Government Documents & Statistics
- We provide a partial depository for documents produced by North Carolina government agencies. Most items are on microfiche and are listed in the Library’s catalog.
- Our collection contains building permits issued in Mecklenburg County between 1911 and 1985. These will sometimes show the external dimensions of a structure, but they do not include any blueprints of private residences or public buildings.
- For persons seeking tax valuations of Mecklenburg County properties, the Carolina Room has the years 1981, 1984-89, 1991, 1993, and 1995 on microfiche, but nothing earlier. Tax valuations from 1990 onwards may also be found using Mecklenburg County's Polaris 3G real estate application.
- We have historic deeds and maps on microfilm. They are also available online through the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds. The maps show property boundaries. They are not detailed surveys of particular properties.
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.