Manuscript Collections

Fred D. (Frederick Douglas) Alexander Papers
This collection primarily consists of material created and received by Fred Alexander as a member of the Charlotte City Council (1965-74) and as a state senator (1975-80). Digitized content in Goldmine represents a small portion of the collection. For details about the physical collection, visit
Kelly M. Alexander, Sr. Papers
This collection contains material primarily created and received by Kelly M. Alexander Sr. as president of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches, NAACP, and as a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Material reflects his involvement at the local, state, and national level. Digitized content in Goldmine represents a small portion of the collection. For more information about the contents of the Kelly M. Alexander, Sr. papers, visit
Kelly Alexander, Sr. papers concerning the NAACP, 1948-1998
This collection documents the activities of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), with an emphasis on the work and correspondence of Kelly Alexander, Sr. and his sons Kelly Alexander, Jr. and Alfred Alexander in Charlotte, North Carolina. The collection contains minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, press releases, membership records, and a few photographs. Topics covered include school segregation, housing and employment discrimination, police misconduct, and the Charlotte Area Fund. This collection is partially digitized. For information about the entire collection, visit
Special Collections Maps
Maps, primarily of the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County region.
Byron Baldwin photographs, 1987-2008
Byron Baldwin has been making photographs since 1970. He finished his graduate work at Ohio University in 1972 and has since lived in Charlotte, NC. He was a founding member of The Light Factory in 1973 and taught photography at Myers Park High School in Charlotte NC and at area colleges and universities for forty years. His work has been exhibited widely and is included in the collections of the High Museum in Atlanta, Bank of America, the Library of Congress, R.J. Reynolds Corporation, the State Museum of South Carolina, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, The Mint Museum, The Levine Museum of the New South, New Mexico State University, Wells Fargo Bank and numerous private collections. His book “The 521 All-Stars: A Championship Story of Baseball and Community” was published in 1999. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and is represented by The Hodges Taylor Gallery in Charlotte. In 2012 he received the Cato Arts and Science Council Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching. The Byron Baldwin photographs consist primarily of images depicting Matthews Pottery and local businesses along Central Avenue, particularly in Plaza Midwood.
Mark Bernstein Papers, 1952-2015
Papers documenting Mark Bernstein's work in the Charlotte arts community (including the Charlotte Symphony, Bechtler Museum and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center), Shalom Park and its constituent organizations and the Charlotte law community. Contains correspondence, newspaper articles, deeds, awards, lectures, journals and printed works. Only a portion of this collection has been digitized, the journals and one of Bernstein's writings, "Hour of Trial." For a complete description of the collection, visit
Bill-of-sale for Loney, an enslaved man in North Carolina
Bill of sale dated January 2, 1865 for an enslaved man named Loney. The buyer was N. A. Wingate & Co. of Charlotte, North Carolina; and the seller was J. A. Bisaner, of Lincolnton. At the time Loney was about twenty seven years old and was sold for $6,000 in Confederate currency.
Brown and Alexander (née Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed) records
Records of the Brown and Alexander architectural firm (previously Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed), which closed in 2017. Digitized content in Goldmine represents a small portion of the collection. For more information about the collection, visit
Caldwell and Davidson Families Papers
This collection contains material about the Caldwell and Davidson families of the Rosedale plantation of Mecklenburg County, N.C. Digitized content in Goldmine represents a small portion of the collection. For a full description of the physical collection, visit
Carver College Records, 1957-1965
Materials relating to Carver College, which was operated by the Charlotte City School Board (1949-1958) and the Charlotte Community College System (1958-1963) as the predominately black counterpart of predominately white Charlotte College. Contains catalogs, annual reports, curriculum proposals, planning documents, and building plans. Renamed Mecklenburg College, the school merged with the Industrial Education Center in 1963 to form Central Piedmont Community College.
Julius L. Chambers papers
Files of a Charlotte attorney and his firm, Chambers, Stein, Ferguson, and Lanning, relating to their representation of Darius and Vera Swann and other plaintiffs in the landmark case, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts were constitutionally authorized to exercise broad powers to oversee and produce solutions to achieve school integration, which could include using student quotas as a starting point, and developing new attendance zones and busing policies to achieve more racially balanced schools. Includes pleadings prepared by Chambers and attorneys for the Board of Education at the District, Circuit, and Supreme Court levels; court rulings and opinions; correspondence; clippings; research materials; statistics; desegregation plans prepared by the board and court consultant John Finger; proposed attendance zone maps; transcripts of proceedings; and depositions, briefs, and notes. The finding aid for the collection is available here:
Charlotte Mayor's Committee on Race Relations Records, 1960-1965
Charlotte mayor (from 1957-1961) James Saxon Smith formed the Mayor's Friendly Relationship Committee in response to sit-ins at lunch counters led by Johnson C. Smith students in uptown Charlotte on February 12, 1960. The mayor's goal for this committee was to facilitate conversations between lunch counter protesters, who wanted to integrate Charlotte's restaurants, and local business owners so they could come to a resolution on their own. Smith appointed Dr. John R. Cunningham to chair the committee, who was the director of the Presbyterian Foundation and had previously served as the president of Davidson College from 1941-1957. By July 1960, the MFRC had helped the lunch counter owners and student protesters come to an agreement, resulting in the integration of many of Charlotte’s lunch counters. At the urging of Dr. Cunningham and other civic and religious leaders, the work of the committee continued and expanded to explore issues of housing, education, equal opportunities for work, crime, and the impact of segregation on communities. Stan Brookshire was elected mayor of Charlotte in 1961, and the committee was then restructured and renamed the Mayor’s Community Relations Committee (MCRC). The committee included black and white men and women, and was comprised of 27 notable Charlotte area residents including newspaper editors, politicians, ministers, physicians, teachers, and businessmen. The work of the MFRC and MCRC led to the establishment of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations agency, which aims to promote quality of opportunity for all of Charlotte’s citizens. This collection mostly comprises correspondence, including letters to and from MCRC committee chair John R. Cunningham, and the correspondence of mayor James Saxon Smith relating to the establishment of the committees. Some correspondence contains racist sentiments in opposition to the committee and to integration as a whole. The collection also contains committee minutes, memorandums, pamphlets, and research materials on the subject of race relationships that were used by the committee in developing their awareness of the issue. The content of this collection provides insight regarding the city’s changing attitudes towards segregation, integration, and race relations, and the impact these changes had on the community. The Charlotte Mayor's Committee on Race Relations records are housed in the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The finding aid is available here:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee Records, 1960-1969
Records of a committee established in 1961 by the mayor of Charlotte to help ease racial tensions and to assist in the gradual desegregation of public facilities. Includes correspondence, minutes, and clippings relating to the committee and its predecessor, the Friendly Relations Committee. Also contains material from state and national groups, including the North Carolina Mayor's Cooperating Committee, North Carolina Good Neighbor Council, National Citizens Committee for Community Relations, and the United States Conference of Mayors Committee on Community Relations. The collection is organized by committee. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee was first established by Mayor James Saxon Smith as the Mayor's Friendly Relationship Committee in 1960. The committee was formed in response to sit-in demonstrations at lunch counters led by Johnson C. Smith students in uptown Charlotte on February 12, 1960, which were organized to push Charlotte restaurants to desegregate and serve both black and white patrons. Mayor Smith established the committee to facilitate dialog between protestors and restauranteurs, who were able to come to an agreement and integrate many of Charlotte's restaurants in the early 1960s. Mayor Stanford R. Brookshire (1961-1969) broadened the scope of the committee to include issues of housing, education, equal opportunities for work, crime, and the impact of segregation on communities, and changed the name of the committee to the Mayor's Community Relations Committee in 1961. The committee's name changed again in 1969 to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee to reflect the broader membership through appointments by the chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee is composed of 60 members who are appointed for three-year terms. The appointments are made by the mayor of Charlotte and the chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. The Committee's responsibilities include studying problems in the areas of human and community relations and promoting the quality of opportunity for all citizens. The collection is arranged in five series: I. Mayor's Friendly Relations Committee. II. Mayor's Community Relations Committee. III. North Carolina Organizations. IV. National Organizations. V. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee. Series V was not digitized as part of this project. The finding aid for the collection is available here:
Charlotte Redevelopment Commission Records
Created in 1957, the Charlotte Redevelopment Commission was charged by the city of Charlotte with planning and organizing urban renewal projects, and to a lesser extent, projects for rehabilitation of declining older neighborhoods. The organization's name changed several times during its lifespan (from Urban Redevelopment Department, to Community Development, and finally to Neighborhood Development). Neighborhoods where these urban development projects took place include Belmont, Brooklyn, Cherry, Dilworth, Downtown, First Ward, Greenville, North Charlotte, Third Ward, and Wilmore. Urban renewal in Charlotte disproportionately affected African American neighborhoods and residents. By far the largest of areas affected were Brooklyn and Greenville, which were almost completely torn down to make way for road construction and government offices. The first demolition took place in 1961. The Redevelopment Commission passed primary responsibility for the urban renewal program to the city of Charlotte on May 1, 1973. This digital collection is comprised of photographs of Charlotte Redevelopment Commission projects taken during the time of urban renewal projects. These photographs primarily document homes and businesses either before or after demolition or repair.
Richard Lee Clark papers concerning the Civil War
A collection of Civil War documents relating to the daily operations of the Union Army at their camp at Port Royal, S.C.
Bonnie Ethel Cone Papers
Primarily personal papers created while Cone served as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Community Relations at UNC Charlotte. The files represent her civic activities and personal interests in the Charlotte community, her service to other institutions, and the numerous awards bestowed upon her. Digitized content in Goldmine only includes two video recordings. For more information about the collection, visit
Harvey Gantt Papers
Harvey Bernard Gantt is an architect and Democratic politician active in North Carolina. Gantt entered local Charlotte politics in 1974 serving on the city council until 1983. He was elected to two terms as the first black Mayor of Charlotte from 1983 to 1987. In the 1990s (1990 and 1996), he ran twice for the United States Senate against Jesse Helms. The bulk of the collection is comprised of audiovisual materials from Gantt's 1996 campaign against Jesse Helms for U.S. Senate, but also includes speeches and writings.
Tom Hanchett papers
Papers of Charlotte local historian Tom Hanchett. Dr. Hanchett has been the historian-in-residence at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library since 2019. He was the staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South for sixteen years. He has created exhibits and written on urban history and the culture of the south, incluiding Charlotte neighborhood history. He holds degrees from Cornell, the University of Chicago, and UNC Chapel Hill.
Benjamin S. Horack Papers, 1968-1971
Papers of a Charlotte attorney relating to his defense of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in the landmark case, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts were constitutionally authorized to exercise broad powers to oversee and produce solutions to achieve school integration, which could include using student quotas as a starting point, and developing new attendance zones and busing policies to achieve more racially balanced schools. Consists primarily of legal documentation of proceedings and briefs prepared by defendants and plaintiffs for presentation to the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Also includes maps of proposed attendance zones, notes and correspondence, and data on pupil placement plans and school transportation costs. The finding aid for the Benjamin S. Horack papers is available here:
Lynnsy Logue Papers
The Lynnsy Logue papers includes periodicals, audiovisual materials, photographs from Logue's travels around the world, correspondence with friends and family and many of Logue's personal writings and short stories. Digitized content only includes letters written by Catherine Hopkins to her girlfriend at the time, Lynnsy Logue. The letters cover many topics from work, school, literature, music and life and offer insight into the life of a lesbian couple in the early 1970s. For more information about the full collection, visit
Mecklenburg County Health Department Records
Records of the Mecklenburg County Health Department, which traces its origins back to the 1890s.This collection is comprised chiefly of annual reports and minutes. Also includes evaluation of public health programs in Charlotte by the American Public Health Association and photographs. Digitized content in Goldmine represents a small portion of the collection. For more information about the collection, visit
North Carolina Volunteer Firemen's Association Proceedings, 1905-1923
Organized in 1888 or 1889 and incorporated in 1891, the North Carolina Volunteer Firemen's Association supported the interests of African American volunteer firefighters throughout the state and served as a mutual aid society for members. It later changed its name to the North Carolina Colored Volunteer Fireman's Association. The association was the African American counterpart of the North Carolina State Firemen's Association, an organization for white firefighters chartered in 1888. The North Carolina Volunteer Firemen's Association's proceedings contain minutes of its annual sessions, committee and disbursement reports, lists of officers, rosters of African American fire companies in North Carolina, resolutions and by-laws, and the association's constitution. Some issues include lists of competitors in races and other competitions held during the association's annual meetings, rules and regulations for competitions, and membership rolls of companies marching in the association's parades. A portrait photograph of the association's president, John S. Plummer, appears on the reverse of the title page of each issue.
Patterson Family Papers
Papers of the Patterson family of northern Mecklenburg County, mainly concerning their business activities, real estate purchases, wills, and family correspondence. Includes documentation relating to African Americans enslaved by the Patterson family and freed in 1865 through the Emancipation Proclamation. Digitized content represents a small portion of the full collection of physical materials. Please visit for a full collection inventory.
Eugene Payne Cartoons
Original editorial cartoons by Eugene Payne, a cartoonist who worked for the Charlotte Observer from the 1950s through the 1980s and WSOC-TV in the 1970s. Cartoons were created while Payne was employed with the Charlotte Observer. Most are original cartoons sketched with India ink on heavy bond poster board.
Beverly Penninger Papers Concerning Tonda Taylor
This collection consists of the footage that Beverly Penninger put together about Tonda Taylor and Time Out Youth. Digitized content in Goldmine represents a small portion of the collection. For more information about the collection, visit
People of Old Mecklenburg
Consists of an introduction asking for North Carolinians' reactions to two articles reprinted from the Springfield journal titled: Compromise not to be thought of, and The forts must be taken--the revolution must be checked.
Minnie Stowe Puett Papers
The Minnie Stowe Puett papers includes broadsides published by the Equal Suffrage Association of NC and the National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company, Inc. A portion of this collection has been digitized. For more information about the collection, visit
RAIN Records
RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network) is a coalition of religious congregations in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina that was founded in Charlotte in 1992 by the Reverend Deborah Warren to address the needs of persons with HIV/AIDS disease. The collection includes materials created and collected by RAIN staff between 1992 and 2013 that reflect the growth and development of the organization in their work to alleviate the suffering of HIV/AIDS patients. Digitized content in Goldmine represents a small portion of the collection. For more information about the collection, visit
Margaret Whitton Ray Papers, 1972-1974
Papers of Margaret Whitton Ray, who formed the Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) in November 1973 to develop pupil assignment guidelines for integrating Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools as an alternative to the more conservative integration plan proposed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg school administrators. The group's 25 members were selected by their school "feeder area" or civic organization to speak to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education concerning their views on pupil assignment. Organizing itself into an advisory group to the Board of Education and its staff, CAG adopted a set of guidelines, which were presented to the U.S. District Court in May 1974. A compromise of the CAG and School Board plans was eventually accepted by U.S. District Court Judge James B. McMillan, who oversaw Charlotte-Mecklenburg school integration following the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Supreme Court decision. The collection includes clippings, correspondence, findings and recommendations, reports, worksheets, notes, the CAG plan for pupil reassignment, and the joint proposal for school assignment that was ultimately approved. The finding aid for the Margaret Whitton Ray papers is available here:
Protest of Keith Lamont Scott Police Shooting photographs and videos
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, police fatally shot 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, an African American man, in the parking lot of an apartment complex near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Protests over the police action erupted the night of the shooting near the site where it occurred, with demonstrators blocking all lanes of Interstate 85 in the early hours of the morning of September 21. The unrest continued September 21 and into the early hours of September 22 in Uptown Charlotte. One demonstrator, 26-year-old Justin Carr, was fatally shot during the protest and several individuals were injured or arrested on both nights of protests.There was also extensive property damage to businesses by protesters and the use of tear gas by police. Peaceful protests were held on Thursday, September 22, and over the weekend of September 24-25. These photographs, recordings, and sketches were collected by the Levine Museum of the New South in the context of its rapid-response community exhibit K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace. The exhibit, which opened in February, 2017, explored the historical roots of the distrust between police and community, placing the emphasis on the human stories beyond the headlines.
Frank O. Sherrill Papers, 1963
The collection consists of newspaper clippings and letters collected by Frank O. Sherrill. Sherrill was the co-founder of the S&W Cafeteria chain, which was segregated in the early 1960s. By 1963, civil rights supporters pushed for desegregation of public accommodations throughout the South, and S&W faced pressure from the public and from civil rights organizations to desegregate their restaurants. This collection also includes a telegram send by President John F. Kennedy, inviting Sherrill to the White House to attend a conference on racial desegregation. The finding aid for the Frank O. Sherrill papers is available here:
Andrew Baxter Springs letter
Letter from Andrew Baxter Springs to Confederate Congressman F. B. Sexton. Springs expresses his optimism about the Civil War, with specific references about Union general William T. Sherman and Confederate commander Robert E. Lee. Springs also extends an invitation to Sexton to the spend the Congressional holiday recess with him at his plantation, Springfield.
William Hoke Sumner Papers
This collection consists of photographic prints and negatives documenting the work of William Hoke Sumner, a photographer active in the Charlotte area. Images in the collection represent businesses, news and sports events, visiting celebrities, weddings, social gatherings, and individuals. Materials in the digital collection represent a small subset of content in the William Hoke Sumner papers. For more information about the collection and a full inventory, visit
Taylor and Richardson Families Album
The Taylor and Richardson families album contains photographs and other materials that document the life of Charles Samuel Lafayette Alexander Taylor, an African American barber, soldier, and firefighter active in numerous social and political causes in Charlotte, North Carolina, and his family. The album predominantly contains portrait and informal photographs of Taylor; Ella Louise Pickens Taylor, his second wife; Harriet and Louise Taylor, his daughters; James Franklin Richardson, his nephew and ward; and numerous other relatives and family connections. Among the other documents included in the album are the will of Charles Taylor, family letters and birthday cards, newspaper clippings, obituaries for Charles Taylor and condolence letters written to the family following his death, death certificates of family members, historical sketches, stock certificates, and papers related to the purchase of land and cemetery plots.
Torrance and Banks Families Papers
Papers of Hugh Torrance (1743-1816) and his descendants, including his son, James Galbraith Torrance (1784-1847), and his grandson Richard Allison Torrance (1833-1927), concerning their extensive mercantile, planting, and milling operations at Cedar Grove plantation in northern Mecklenburg County, N.C. Includes account books, Revolutionary War service records, family correspondence, land and estate records, information on slaves, contracts with overseers, two acrostics by George Moses Horton ("the slave poet of Chapel Hill"), and poems and notes by area schoolmaster Peter Stuart Ney. Digitized content only includes a small number of documents relating to enslaved persons, letters from Richard Allison Torrance, and the George Moses Horton acrostics.
Wilkes Family Papers
Papers of a family that settled in Charlotte in the 1850s. Contains extensive records involving the purchase and operations of gold mines, mills, and other businesses owned by the family and by their Renwick and Smedberg relations in North Carolina and South Carolina beginning in the 1820s. Digitized content from this archival collection solely relates to John Wilkes's purchase and sale of enslaved individuals.
World War I in Charlotte
World War I in Charlotte brings together materials from several manuscript collections held by UNC Charlotte relating to Charlotte, North Carolina's involvement during World War I. Camp Greene, a United States Army camp established in Charlotte in 1917, organized troops in the 3rd Infantry Division and 4th Infantry Division.