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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.

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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.  Consult directory at Association of Professional Genealogists.


Visit Us:

We are located on the 2nd Floor of Slover Library (Seaboard Building side).

235 East Plume Street  • Norfolk, VA 23510


Hours: Monday - Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

For appointments, please call (757) 431-7429 or email


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

Light Rail:  MacArthur Square Stop (The Tide)


Upcoming Events:

Genealogical Databases and Websites

Location: Meeting Room 1 

Learn to use and other online databases and websites used for genealogical research.

Note: Bring your laptops and tablets.

Space is limited to 45 per class, so registration is required.

Please register for the class here: 

If you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration so that others may register.

Any questions, please call (757) 431-7429 or e-mail

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