Mary Brevard Alexander Howell Mecklenburg Room
1956 Library Board of Trustees. Vard Howell is in the back row, beside Library Director Hoyt Galvin.
Mary Brevard Alexander Howell. She went by the name "Vard Howell."

This ornate room is the Mary Brevard Alexander Howell Mecklenburg Room. It was named for Howell, who served on the Library Board of Trustees in the 1950s and 1960s. Her son Wool and his family donated the room’s furnishings in her memory.

The room was designed for research and the storage of rare books, and using it required a research request and special permission. It was originally equipped with a computer in a credenza, but that system was replaced as writers and researchers used their own laptops in recent years.

Former Charlotte Observer writer Richard Maschal wrote Wet-Wall Tattoos, an account of fresco artist Ben Long, in this room. Local author Mary Norton Kratt also used this space while writing New South Women: Twentieth Century Women of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The new Main Library will continue to support writers, researchers, and other content creators with access to a wealth of historical archives and innovative services.

This audio tour was created using resources from your Library’s Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room.