Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room

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 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
  •  Family Research Computer Center – offers free access to'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 Website

Visit the Carolina Room


The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room is a research center located on the third floor of the Main Library.
Hours of operation are given below. On Mondays the Carolina Room offers Virtual Hours, which means although the Room will be closed to visits, staff  will respond to phone calls at 704-416-0150 and emails.

Hours of Operation

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Wednesday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Thursday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

Upcoming History and Genealogy Programs

Are You Stumped?

Thursday, May 21 5:30 PM
Plaza Midwood

This is an advanced genealogy workshop that is limited to ten people or less depending on the number of laptops available. It is designed to assist genealogists who cannot find a certain relative or have specific troubles with their issues.

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Genealogy 101: Discover Your Roots!

Tuesday, May 26 10:00 AM

This program is especially designed for individuals who are new to genealogy and want to learn how to get started. Online and book resources are covered as well as how to read documents such as census reports, wills, deeds and marriage records.

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Unions, North Carolina & Norma Rae

Saturday, May 30 1:00 PM
Main Library

A viewing of the 1979 classic Norma Rae, about one woman's attempt to make life better in her textile community. The movie will be preceded by Dr. Tom Hanchett who will discuss the real Norma Rae, and the textile industry in North Carolina.

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Charlotte History: Sorting Out the New South City

Saturday, June 13 11:00 AM

Tom Hanchett, Historian-in-Residence with the public library, visits to talk about the new Second Edition of his book Sorting Out the New South City about Charlotte-area history. How did this become a major urban place? How did we become segregated — both economically and racially?

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Remembering Civil Rights activist J. Charles Jones

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Dr. Tom Hanchett, Historian-in-Residence of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, takes a look at the achievements, life and legacy of one of North Carolina's most heroic Civil Rights activists, J. Charles Jones.

New Year's Day hasn't always been January 1

Friday, December 27, 2019
December 31, 2019 marks the end of the decade and prepares the world for an exciting arrival of the new year. New Year’s Day hasn’t always been celebrated on January 1, though.