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Wilmot J. Fraser Elementary School collection

Identifier: AMN 1129

Collection Overview

The majority of this collection is comprised of color photographs of events, students, faculty, staff and visiting presenters at Wilmot J. Fraser Elementary School between 1990-1994. Many images are unidentifed and undated. Also, printed materials of event programs, school newsletters, memorandums and newspaper articles highlighting events and honor roll students are included.

The collection is divided into two series:

1. Photographic Material includes color photographs of students in their classrooms; at Honor Roll ceremonies and other special school events; visiting guest presenters; and images of principals, teachers, parents/grandparents, and volunteers.

2. Printed Material includes programs, newsletters, event flyers, and memorandums. Photocopied newspaper articles features honor roll students, special events and people associated with Fraser Elementary. Also, included is a folder of newspaper clippings regarding Hurricane Hugo. Undated materials contains a combination of programs, photocopied newspaper clippings and school-related ephemera.


  • Creation: 1987-1994
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1990-1993

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

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.

Historical Note

Wilmot Jefferson Fraser, was an African-American educator and administrator. Born to Middleton and Emma Gilliard Fraser on April 6, 1905, Charleston, South Carolina. A former student at the Avery Institute, Fraser obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at South Carolina State College and a Masters of Art at the University of Michigan. He continued post graduate work at Columbia University, New York. Fraser eventually became the principal at many of Charleston's African-American schools: Santee (1930-1932); Shaw Elementary (1933-1935); Henry P. Archer (1936-1955); Sanders-Clyde (1956-1960). In 1960, Fraser became the Supervisor of Negro Schools in Charleston School District 20, and in 1966 the Assistant Director of Elementary Schools of Charleston County. Fraser was one of the initial organizers, president, and board member of the Elementary Principal Association within the South Carolina Palmetto Education Association (PEA). He married Mary Young, in 1937 and they had a son, Wilmot Alfred. Wilmot J. Fraser passed on March 31, 1979.

Wilmot J. Fraser Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina, was erected on the site of the former Charleston Home building at 63 Columbus Street in 1956. Initially known as the "Columbus Street School, " the elementary school opened in 1957. The school served students from Pre-kindergarten to Sixth grade. Amidst strong objection from parents and community leaders, Fraser Elementary closed at the end of the 2008-2009 school year due to Charleston County School District 20's redesign plan.

Works Cited

Charleston County Public Library. "Records of the Commissioners of the Alms House (Poor House), 1800-1923 Collection Outline." Web. 24 Mar 2014.

"Ladies and Gentlemen: Wilmot Jefferson Fraser Upon His Retirement 25 Jun 1970." Fraser Family Vertical File, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, SC, USA.

Live5 News. "Parents, community rally to keep school open." 2 Aug 2009. Web. 24 Mar 2014.


0.5 linear feet (2 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



The former Wilmot J. Fraser Elementary School was located at 63 Columbus Street, on the downtown peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina. The predominately African-American public school was opened in 1957. As a part of the Charleston School District 20's redesign plan, Fraser Elementary closed at the conclusion of the 2008-2009 school year. Initially know as the Columbus Street School, the institution was renamed for Wilmot Jefferson Fraser (1905-1979), an African-American educator and administrator in Charleston, South Carolina. The majority of this collection consists of color photographs from 1990-1994. A large majority of these photographs of school events, students, teachers, school staff, parents and visiting presenters, are unidentifed and undated. Also, included are programs, newsletter, memorandums and newspaper articles regarding special events and honor roll students.

Collection Arrangement

1. Photographic Material

2. Printed Material

Wilmot J. Fraser Elementary School Collection, Charleston, South Carolina AMN 1129
Finding aid prepared by Georgette Mayo
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