Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) ore deposits are epigenetic carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits that contain galena, sphalerite, fluorite, barite, dolomite, calcite, and quartz. Although they are thought to form from basinal brines, their exact origins are still unclear, partly because of the scarcity of reliable geochronological data. Rb-Sr dating of sphalerites has recently been shown to be a promising technique for the direct dating of ore minerals in MVT deposits. This paper reports the results of a reconnaissance study of sphalerites, their fluid inclusions, and associated minerals from MVT deposits of North America. Sphalerites from Immel mine, Mascot-Jefferson City district, east Tennessee, define a Rb-Sr age of 347 ± 20 Ma consistent with a Rb-Sr age of 377 ± 29 Ma for sphalerites from Coy mine in the same district, but inconsistent with models that ascribe their genesis to the effects of the late Paleozoic Alleghenian orogeny. Rb-Sr isotopic analyses of K-feldspar from Immel mine preclude the possibility that the Rb-Sr data reflect feldspar inclusions. Sphalerites from the main ore zone of Daniel's Harbour mine, New foundland, do not form a linear isochron and open behavior of the Rb-Sr system is suspected. Sphalerites from the Pine Point district, Northwest Territories, Canada, define a Rb-Sr age of 361 ± 13 Ma, indicating that the mineralization took place shortly after the deposition of the middle Devonian host carbonate rocks. These results are not compatible with mineralization models based on regional fluid migration related to early Tertiary Cordilleran deformation. Sphalerites from northern Arkansas have very low Rb and Sr concentrations (less than 0.1 ppm). The Rb-Sr data do not form isochrons and the sphalerites have higher 87Sr /86Sr ratios than expected, given their Rb/Sr ratios and reasonable constraints on their ages. The sphalerites are suspected to contain clay inclusions; and it is likely that the Sr isotopic compositions of these sphalerites, which have very low Sr concentrations, were affected by small amounts of inherited inclusions. Except for sphalerite from northern Arkansas, SEM studies and isotope dilution trace element measurements have so far failed to identify any suitable phases other than sphalerite that might be a host for the Sr.