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Come visit us!

A student looks at a pop-up book

With the beginning of the fall semester, the Dalton Reading Room for special collections and university archives is back to regular, pre-pandemic hours. We are open Monday- Friday, 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. and available for all your primary source research needs. We collect a variety of rare materials and primary sources that might work for your research project, paper, or just for your own curiosity. 

The materials available in the reading room highlight our commitment to preserving and sharing the history of Charlotte. Our largest manuscript collection is the Harry Golden papers, at 144 boxes, and one of our smallest is a letter from Queen Charlotte, consort to King George III and namesake of our city, to her son William. Our University Archives cover the history of University of North Carolina at Charlotte from our beginning as a night school in 1946 to the present. You can find collections about  Bonnie Cone, the Student Government Association, or almost any other topic in university history.

If your curiosity goes beyond the Queen City, the rare books collection may be your best option. Our rare book collection includes highlights such as Southern textile bulletin. Health and Happiness, a yearbook for mills in the North Carolina area from 1919; our oldest book from 1471, Sermones de patientia in Job et de poenitentia, and a fore-edge book entitled Coaching Days and coaching ways

In addition to welcoming visits from individuals, we also offer a variety of instruction sessions that range in subjects from history to architecture to political science. During these instruction sessions, we use active learning activities that focus on primary source literacy for students. 

Examples of these activities include viewing a book as an object, exploring primary documents as foundational stones for research projects, and differentiating between primary and secondary sources. If you are a faculty member interested in holding an instruction session in the reading room, contact Instruction Archivist Randi Beem at

So whether you are visiting for a specific project or just want to browse, we look forward to seeing you in the Dalton Reading Room on the tenth floor of the Library. Just don’t forget to bring your sweater -- it’s a little chilly since rare books like it a bit cooler than humans!

--Randi Beem

Photo: A student enjoys one of our pop-up books.