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! 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.
The Charlotte Neighborhood History Toolkit explains how to use resources from the Carolina Room to tell the story of your neighborhood, street, or house.
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.
Visit the Carolina Room
Hours of Operation
Upcoming History and Genealogy Programs
Get one-on-one help tracking your family history using Ancestry. Learn how to get started and create your own family tree.
Need to research your family history but dont know where to begin? Confused about print and online resources? Want to connect with others building their family tree? Join in this monthly workshop where well learn to trace your roots and family history.
Join us to explore a historical mystery once a month: This evening, Rasputin: Faith, Power and Madness in the World of the Romanovs.
Put on your hiking boots, grab your walking stick, and get ready to uncover three marvelous mysteries at a mountain top and deep inside Equatorial Jungles. Each of our destinations seemed like a good idea to someone when it was first built.
Learn the basics of Genealogy in this course for beginners. Learn how to get started, what resources to use, how to set up a pedigree chart, and more. An overview of online resources will be provided.