Norfolk’s Historical Images Now Available Online

Norfolk, VA (July 22, 2011). Norfolk Public Library is pleased to announce the launching of a new database, Norfolk Historical Images. The database offers a digital sampling of the more than 60,000 photographs, drawings, maps and documents housed in the Library’s Sargeant Memorial Collection, chronicling the history of Norfolk and Greater Hampton Roads from colonial times to the present.


The library’s digital project was initially funded in 2000 by a gift from the family of the late Norfolk optometrist Dr. Dudley Cooper. As long-time owner of Norfolk’s Ocean View Amusement Park and Seaside Amusement Park in Virginia Beach, Dr. Cooper realized the importance of preserving local history and local tradition. Sargeant Memorial Collection staff have worked for more than 10 years to scan and research images in the collection in order to make them more widely available to the public.


The online images represent only a small portion of the collection. There are many more images to be scanned and staff is working hard to add them to the new database. Meanwhile, the public is invited to visit the Sargeant Memorial Collection to view the physical photo files of images from Norfolk newspaper photographers Carroll Walker, Harry C. Mann, and others between the years 1920 and 1955.


The Sargeant Memorial Collection (SMC) is the local history and genealogical collection within the Norfolk Public Library system. The SMC opened in 1927 to house a collection of material relating to the history of Norfolk initiated by City Librarian William Henry Sargeant in 1894. The collection currently resides in Norfolk Main Library at 235 E. Plume Street in downtown Norfolk. Please call (757) 664-7485 for more information.  To access the Norfolk Historical Images database, go to

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