All NPL locations, including Slover Library and the Bookmobile, will close at 5 PM on Wednesday, November 25 and will be closed November 26 and 27. All locations will re-open on Saturday, November 28.

About SMC


What is the Sargeant Memorial Collection?

The establishment of the Sargeant Memorial Collection (SMC) began in 1927 with only a small assortment of books and historical papers collected by William H. Sargeant, the first Librarian to be hired by the City of Norfolk in 1897. He felt very strongly that Norfolk should have a history collection devoted to her history and her people. The non-circulating collection includes a variety of books and periodicals about Norfolk and Virginia, as well as Norfolk maps and photographs, high school yearbooks, and city directories for the Hampton Roads region. Nearly 200 years of Norfolk newspaper microfilms are available upon request. SMC's genealogy collection encompasses Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and other nearby states, with books, microfilm, and CD's to assist in family research. Today, the Sargeant Memorial Collection is one of Virginia's finest local history and genealogy collections.

Have a History or Genealogy Question?

We conduct basic research for requests we receive from email and traditional mail correspondence. We will need all the information possible about the subject or individual and as close to an exact date as possible if the time frame is known. We process research inquiries in the order they are received and we endeavor to respond in a timely manner.
  • Photocopy charges are $ 0.15 cents per page.
  • Postage is assessed at first class rates.
  • Checks should be made payable to City of Norfolk - Norfolk Public Library.
  • For assistance, please call (757) 431-7429 or email
If you have extensive research questions, please contact a professional genealogist or researcher to conduct the research. Utilize this  list of professional researchers supplied by the Library of Virginia.

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