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Lois A. Simms was born in Charleston, S.C. She was the 1937 class valedictorian at the Avery Normal Institute. Simms continued
her education at Barber Scotia Junior College and later received a B.A. in English and Social Studies at Johnson C. Smith
University in 1941. She completed her Master of Arts in Education at Howard University in 1954 and did postgraduate work at
Syracuse University and The Citadel. Simms has taught at various schools in the Charleston, SC area including the Avery Normal
Institute, Laing High School, Archer Elementary School, Burke High School, and Charleston High School. Simms still resides
in Charleston and remains active through her membership at Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church.
The collection contains Simms' academic papers, correspondence, periodicals, student photographs, scrapbooks, yearbooks, awards,
and school memorabilia.
Lois A. Simms Papers, 1920 - 2003, and undated
Lois A. Simms.
Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Lois Averetta Simms was born in Charleston, SC and graduated as the 1937 valedictorian of the Avery Normal Institute in Charleston.
She went on to pursue her education at Barber Scotia Junior College and she obtained her B.A. in English and Social Studies
from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. After she finished her degree she returned to Charleston to
teach at Avery (1941-1945, 1952). In 1954, she obtained her Master of Arts in Education at Howard University and did postgraduate
work at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY and The Citadel in Charleston, SC. She taught at Burke High School (1945-1975)
and Charleston High School (1975-1976), where she later retired.
Simms was active in Zion Presbyterian Church and continued her church work when Zion merged with Olivet in 1959 to become
Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church. In 1983, she assisted a group of young people in the church to start the Zion-Olivet Scroll and served as editor for a number of years. Other roles she took on in the church include teaching Sunday school, serving
as an organist for the Chancel and Men's Choir, and holding membership in the Presbyterian Women's organization.
Simms was one of the first volunteers at the Avery Research Center and was on the The Avery Institute for Afro-American History
and Culture board. She also served as editor of the Avery Bulletin, which is now known as the Avery Messenger.
Simms is the author of Profiles of African-American Females in the Low Country of South Carolina (1992); Growing up Presbyterian: Life in Presbyterian Colleges and Churches (1992); and A Chalk and Chalkboard Career in Carolina (1996).
1. Biographical Records include Simms' memorabilia from the Avery Normal Institute, and her academic work at Barber Scotia Junior College, Johnson
C. Smith University, Howard University, and Syracuse University. The series contains draft versions of Simms' Howard University
Masters thesis entitled "A Comparative Study of Provisions for the Education of Negro and White Pupils in the Public Schools of South Carolina," certificates of appreciation, thank you notes and correspondence from students she taught, audio-visual material including
a 1996 audio oral history interview, and four personal scrapbooks.
2. Professional Records details Simms' work as a teacher in Charleston, South Carolina. Records include teacher plan books, yearbooks, newspaper
clippings about students' achievements, commencement and school event programs, student photos, and certificates of appreciation.
3. Community Affiliations records contain published copies and proofs of the Zion-Olivet Scroll, Zion-Olivet Presbyterian's newsletter. Additionally, there are photos from 1984-1992, that document historic events and activities
of the church. There is a certificate of appreciation from the Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture for Simms
assistance with establishing the center.
4. Publications includes books, federal statistical pamphlets and journals, educational periodicals, and newspaper clippings.
1. Biographical Records,1925-1996, 2003, and undated
1.1 Academic Work, 1925-1986, and undated
1.2 Personal Papers, 1931-1994, and undated
1.3 Scrapbooks, 1935-2003, and undated
1.4 Audio-Visual Records, 1955-1996, and undated
2. Professional Records, 1937-2003, and undated
2.1 Burke High School, 1937, 1956-2003, and undated
2.2 Charleston High School,1961-1976
3. Community Affiliations, 1983-1992
3.1 Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church, 1983-1992
3.2 The Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture, 1984
Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church Records Collection (AMN 1030)
Detailed Description of the Collection
1. Biographical Records, 1925-1996, 2003, and undated.
1.1 Academic Work, 1925-1986, and undated.
Arranged in order of Simms' attendance at the institution
1.1.1 Avery Normal Institute, 1925-1937, and undated.
Box 1 Folder 1
Avery Memorabilia, 1925-1937, and undated
Includes "The Avery Song," 1925 (Words by Beulah Shecut (class of 1928) and Music by Maude H. Smith (class of 1915) and Memories Book, which has faculty
and student signatures.
The Memories book is on display in the Avery classroom
Box 1 Folder 2
Lois' Class and Dramatic Club Pins, 1937 and undated
1.1.2 Barber Scotia College, 1980-1983, and undated.
Box 1 Folder 3
Dance Classwork, undated
Box 1 Folder 4
Certificate of Appreciation, 1980
Box 1 Folder 5
Gift Plaque in Recognition of Simms' Annual Contribution to Barber Scotia College, 1980-1983
1.1.3 Johnson C. Smith University, 1967-1984, and undated.
Box 1 Folder 6
Music Classwork, undated
Box 1 Folder 7
Certificates of Membership and Appreciation; and bumper stickers, 1967-1984
Includes membership certificate to Johnson C. Smith University Century Club, Certificate of Appreciation from the Johnson
C. Smith Blue and Gold Club, and annual fund bumper stickers
1.1.4 Howard University, 1948-1986, and undated.
Box 1 Folder 8
Howard Classwork, 1948 and 1953
Includes a paper Simms wrote entitled "An Analysis of the Biological Factors in Race Relations" and Explorations in Personal Adjustment by George F.J. Lehner, which was Simms' textbook for an education course at Howard. The workbook contains handwritten answers
Box 1 Folder 9
Thesis Research, Notes, and Figures, undated
Box 1 Folder 10
Public Schools of South Carolina, 1948
This journal was a reference used by Simms in completion of her thesis.
Box 1 Folder 11
Handwrittten copy of "A Comparative Study of Provisions for the Education of Negro and White Pupils in the Public Schools of South Carolina," undated
Box 1 Folder 12
Carbon copy of "A Comparative Study of Provisions for the Education of Negro and White Pupils in the Public Schools of South Carolina," undated
Box 1 Folder 13
Typed copy of "A Comparative Study of Provisions for the Education of Negro and White Pupils in the Public Schools of South Carolina," 1953
Box 2 Folder 14
Certificates of Appreciation for Financial Contributions, 1979-1986
1.1.5 Syracuse University, 1960 and undated.
Box 2 Folder 15
Special Education Classwork, 1960 and undated
1.2 Personal Papers, 1931-1994, and undated.
Box 2 Folder 16
Memorabilia and Speeches, 1931-1992, and undated
Contains community event programs, draft of a speech entitled "Strengthening Institutions for Survival in the 21st century," Clarence Deas Middleton's grammar school certificate from Wallingford Academy (1931), and the words of Fouchena E. Sheppard
at the Outstanding Public Administrator of the Year ceremony (1983) for Joseph P. Riley, Jr., which includes a comment made
by Simms about Riley.
Box 2 Folder 17
Student Thank You Notes, 1969-1976, and undated
Box 2 Folder 18
General Correspondence, 1941-1979, 1994
Includes invitations and letters from former students and organizations.
Box 2 Folder 19
Program from the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order, Nobles Mystic Shrine (A.E.A.O.N.M.S) and Daughters of Isis Conference, 1974
Simms' brother St. Elmo was a member of this organization
1.3 Scrapbooks, 1935-2003 and undated.
Lois Simms: Scrapbook, 1935-1937
Contains event programs from Avery Normal Institute and other Charleston organizations, invitations, photos of family members
and friends, and graduation cards.
Use digitized version
Lois Simms: Scrapbook, 1947-1956, and undated
Items and photos in the scrapbook document Simms time in Washington, DC, at Howard University, trips to Virigina, New York
City, and other U.S. cities.
Use digitized version
Lois Simms: Scrapbook, 1972-1973
Created for Simms by her 1972-1973 10-1 Homeroom class at Burke High School to express their appreciation for her. Contains
candid snapshots, lists of favorite things, class superlatives, poems, cards, etc.
Lois Simms: Scrapbook, 1954-2003, and undated
Wooden covered scrapbook created by Simms and others that contain original and photocopies of photos, newspaper clippings,
invitations, programs, etc. that document Simms' teaching career at Burke High School and Charleston High School.
1.4 Audio-Visual Records, 1955-1996, and undated.
Howard University: A Cappella Choir Vinyl Album, undated
Learn-a-Language: Conversational French Course, 1955
Johnson C. Smith University Choir, undated
Oral History Interview, 06/1996
Approximately 70-75 minutes
Simms talks about her writing process for A Chalk and Chalkboard Career in Carolina and how she came up with the various chapters, specifically the ones focusing on her students. Additionally, she provides
detail about publishing her three works. Simms discusses her master's thesis. She provides information about her teaching
career and some of the challenges that faced women teachers during the 1930s and 1940s. Furthermore, she gives her perspective
on the attitudes of African-American students at Charleston High School. Simms gives a brief history of the beginning of Zion
Presbyterian Church in Charleston, why Zion merged with Olivet in 1959, and of the Zion-Olivet Scroll.
"The Great Major Mission Fund Phone-In," 1978-79
97 frames/14.5 minutes
A cassette and filmstrip for use in the United Presbyterian Churches in 1978-79 to report on the progress of the Major Mission
These records reflect Simms' community work, specifically at Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church and The Avery Institute for Afro-American
History and Culture.
3.1 Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church, 1983-1992.
Box 7 Folder 35
Zion-Olivet's Scroll, 1983-1991
Zion-Olivet's Scroll proofs, 08/1984-02/1991
The proofs are arranged chronologically.
The Scroll is the church newsletter that documents church and community events and presents topics and issues of concern. Simms served
as a reporter and editor.
Box 7 Folder 36
Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church Photos, 1984-1986
The 1984 photos document the celebration of Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church's 25th Merger Anniversary, a picnic was held at
Hampton Park in Charleston, SC.; and Rev. Newbold was the anniversary speaker.
The 1985 photos are of the 25th Anniversary and Pastor Search Committees, of church membership including oldest members and
their family, and of the Christmas Candlelight Services by the youth choir.
The 1986 photos are of the church trustees, members, deacons, and of a peacemaking workshop that was held at the church.
Box 7 Folder 37
Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church Photos, 1987
Photos of Zion-Olivet's Chancel Choir, of Dr. Carole Priester, the speaker for the Anniversary Celebration and snapshots of
people at the celebration, of church Sunday School teachers, of nominating committee, and of the Presbyterian Women on Harvest
Box 7 Folder 38
Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church Photos, 1988-1989
The 1988 photos include snapshots of students and teachers at Daily Vacation Bible School, of the Zion-Olivet Men's Council,
The 1989 photos include group and single person shots of the Presbyterian Women's organization; and photos of individuals
involved in creating a plaque to commemorate "Big Zion."
Box 7 Folder 39
Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church Photos, 1990
Photos document Zion-Olivet Church History Celebration, which includes photos of Simms' cake, plaque, and church history display;
Pentecost Sunday activities; and the unveiling of Zion Presbyterian Church's Historic Marker at 123 Calhoun St.
Box 7 Folder 40
Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church Photos, 1991-1992
The 1991 photos include snapshots from Rev. Blackshear's Birthday Celebration, of church members and officials, and of the
acquistion of a new piano.
The 1992 photos include group and single person shots of church members and Sunday school/Vacation Bible School attendees
Box 7 Folder 41
Certificate for Special Recognition, 1985
3.2 The Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture, 1984.
Young People Speaker: Designed for Young People of Twelve Years by E.C. and L.J. Rook, 1920
Box 9 Folder 44
Select Speeches for Declamation compiled by John H. Bechtel, 1927
Box 9 Folder 45
Negroes and the War, 1943
Published by the Office of War Information (OWI)
Box 9 Folder 46
Biennial Survey of Education in the United States, 1944-1946
Box 9 Folder 47
Biennial Survey of Education in the United States, 1946-1950
Box 9 Folder 48
Federal Security Agency Circulars, Bulletins, and Pamphlets, 1947-1951, and undated
Box 9 Folder 49
Scholastic Roto, 11/1953
Box 9 Folder 50
Practical English, 01/1964
Box 9 Folder 51
Newspaper Clippings about Porgy and Bess, 1970
Box 9 Folder 52
Newspaper Clippings, 1973-1975, and undated
Topics covered include the inauguration of James B. Edwards to South Carolina governship, crime reports, student school suspension
policy change, local marriage annoucement, student achievements, and multiracial child rearing issues.
The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may
be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership
of most archival materials.
The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright
law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of
copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be
fully credited with the source.
[Identification of item], Lois A. Simms Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.