The high resolution camera (HRC) is one of two focal plane detector systems that will be flown on the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF). The HRC consists of two microchannel plate (MCP) detectors: one to provide large area, high position resolution imaging and timing (HRC-I), and a second (HRC-S) to provide a readout for the AXAF low energy transmission gratings. Each detector is composed of a chevron pair of CsI coated MCPs with a crossed grid charge detector and an Al/polyimide UV/ion shield. In this paper, we describe the operation, performance and calibration of the spectroscopic detector. In particular, we discuss the absolute quantum efficiency calibration, the point spread function of the instrument combined with the AXAF telescope, the count rate linearity, the spatial linearity, and the internal background of the instrument. Data taken in the laboratory and at the x-ray Calibration Facility at Marshall Space Flight Center are presented.