The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, a department in the Main Library, houses historical and current information on Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and North Carolina. It contains genealogical resources from all fifty states in print and online, the largest collection of genealogical materials in a North Carolina public library! This video will introduce you to some of the staff and resources in the Carolina Room.
The CMStory.org website draws from Carolina Room materials to make exhibits that tell the Charlotte-Mecklenburg story.
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 the Carolina Room. 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.
- Maps – 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.
- 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 some are available online through the Library’s catalog.
- Our collection does not include any blueprints of private residences or public buildings.
- For persons seeking tax valuations of Mecklenburg County property from before 1990, the Carolina Room has the years 1981, and 1984-89 on microfiche, but nothing earlier. Tax valuations from 1990 onwards may be found using Mecklenburg County's Polaris 3G real estate application.
Visit the Carolina Room
Hours of Operation
Upcoming History and Genealogy Programs
Join staff from the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room to learn about the many different online websites related to genealogy. Search techniques will be covered as well as an evaluation of each site. Handouts include a bibliography and a family chart.
This hands-on program is especially designed for individuals who are new to genealogy and want to learn how to get started using the Librarys free access to ancestry.com and other online and book resources. Learn how to read documents such as census reports, wills, deeds and marriage records.
Voices of Tank Town is being held in conjunction with the current Matthews Heritage Museum exhibit Tank Town: A Good Place to Live. The museum has invited four former/current residents of Tank Town to participate on a panel discussion.
For the past 23 years, Daniel Coston has photographed musicians across North Carolina. Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, James Taylor and many others, as well as working with the likes of the Avett Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops and countless more.