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Albert Simons papers

Identifier: Mss 0044

Collection Overview

Papers consist of Simons' writings, correspondence, sketchbooks, clippings, prints, and miscellaneous items.

Simons' writings include lecture notes (many on index cards) and essays on subjects such as church architecture, French history, Robert Mills, the architecture of Charleston (S.C.), Greek temples, and Sir Christopher Wren.

Letters (1908-1977) are mostly Simons' personal and professional correspondence with various individuals, family members, and organizations, but also include a letter (1908 Feb. 25) from William Martin Aiken to Samuel G. Stoney concerning funds for a "proposed enlargement of the Confederate Home School" in Charleston, S.C.

Ten sketchbooks (1915-ca. 1961) contain notes, watercolor paintings, and sketches in pencil and ink. Most of the sketches were made during Simons' trips abroad and reflect his interests in the art and architecture of Italy, England, Greece, France, and elsewhere, but there are also several landscapes of the Clemson, South Carolina area. A number of the finely detailed colored watercolors depict architectural elements, details, and ornaments such as columns and mosaics. In addition, there are many pencil sketches and studies of human figures and faces, including renderings of persons in ethnic costumes and uniforms.

Collection also contains numerous prints of paintings, sculptures, and other art works used by Simons in his fine arts lectures, and a group of materials (1946-1957) pertaining to R. Buckminster Fuller and geodesic domes including clippings, reprints of articles, and photocopies of Fuller's letters.

Miscellaneous items include biographical material about Simons (drafts of an article for Who's Who in America), clippings (1924-1977) about Simons and his work, printed materials, and some of Simons' medical bills and records of insurance payments.


  • Creation: 1908-1977


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections 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

Architect. Albert Simons was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended the College of Charleston and received a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He served as an instructor in architecture at Clemson College in 1915 and 1916, and was a partner in the architectural firm of Todd, Simons & Todd in 1916 and 1917. After a period of military service during World War I, Simons returned to Charleston and with Samuel Lapham established the architectural firm of Simons & Lapham. Simons served as a lecturer on fine arts at the College of Charleston from 1924 to 1947. In 1917 Simons married Harriet Porcher Stoney, daughter of Samuel Gaillard Stoney. Albert Simons died in 1980.


5.0 linear feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions available online in the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Inventory of the Albert Simons Papers, 1908-1977
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)