reading area in SMC, tables and columns in background

Sargeant Memorial Collection

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Welcome to the Sargeant Memorial Collection

Norfolk's Local History and Genealogy Collection is housed in the Slover Library, situated in the heart of Downtown Norfolk.

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 CDs 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 to answer requests that are received via online form, email or by traditional mail correspondence. Research assistance is limited to 30 minutes per request and to three requests per patron per calendar month.  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. 

Contact Us

Professional Researchers and Genealogists:

For more extended research assistance, we recommend hiring a freelance researcher.  Please contact a professional genealogist or researcher to conduct the research. Here are two sources to consult:

Association of Professional Genealogists

Library of Congress - Freelance Researchers


Visit Us

We are located on the 2nd Floor at Slover Library - Seaboard Building

235 East Plume Street  Norfolk, VA 23510

Hours:  Mon-Thur 9-8pm | Fri 9-5pm | Sat 10-5pm | Sun 12-5 PM


Recommend Parking: South Garage at MacArthur Center (closest to Dillard's)

Light Rail:  MacArthur Square Stop (The Tide)

Upcoming Events

Holiday Trees of Honor

Holiday Trees Honoring Military Heroes and First Responders

  • Date: - (all day)

This holiday season Norfolk Public Library is honoring all branches of the Armed Forces, NATO, First Responders, and Fallen Heroes for their commitment in protecting our nation.  Beginning November 17, each of the twelve City library locations will be hosting a themed Christmas Tree to enjoy, photograph and share online with friends and family. When you share, tag @NorfolkPublicLibrary on Facebook, @NorfPublicLib on Twitter, tag your service and use #itsmyNPL and #TreesofHonor.

• Barron F. Black  – US Army Tree
• Blyden – Fire- Rescue
• Bookmobile - All Services (Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force)
• Jordan-Newby Anchor - Special Ops. Forces Tree
• Horace C. Downing - Law Enforcement - Police
• Janaf - US Marine Corps
• Lafayette - US Air Force
• Larchmont - Fallen Heroes/POW
• Little Creek - US Navy
• Park Place - US National Guard
• Pretlow Anchor - US Coast Guard
• Slover - NATO
• Van Wyck - US Patriotic

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