All NPL locations will be closed starting at Noon on Wednesday, December 24 and are closed on Thursday, December 25 and Friday, December 26. All locations will re-open on Saturday, December 27.

About SMC


Sargeant Memorial Collection to Close Temporarily After August 30, 2014

In order to prepare for the move to Norfolk Public Library’s new main library, the Slover Library, the Sargeant Memorial Local History and Genealogy Collection will close at Pretlow Anchor Branch Library after August 30, 2014. Assistance with local history and genealogy research and data retrieval will end until the Slover Library opens in January 2015.

In the interim, please use these locations for help with local history and genealogy services.

2docksWhat 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?

Once the new Slover Library opens in January 2015, we can help. 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.
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.

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.