Skip to main content

Lois A. Simms papers

Identifier: AMN 1118

Collection Overview

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.


  • Creation: 1920-2003, undated


Access Restrictions

Box eight is restricted.

Copyright Notice

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.

Biographical Note

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).


7.0 linear feet (9 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



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.

Collection Arrangement

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

4. Publications, 1920-1975, and undated

Related Material

Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church Records Collection (AMN 1030)

Processing Information

Processed by Aaisha Haykal, 03/2012

Encoded by Aaisha Haykal, 03/2012

Inventory of the Lois A. Simms Papers, 1920 - 2003, and undated AMN 1118
Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Aaisha Haykal; machine-readable finding aid created by: Aaisha Haykal
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States