Skip to main content

Vivienne Edwards Anderson papers

Identifier: AMN 1144

Collection Overview

The collection is divided into five series:

Series 1. Biographical Documents Holds brief biographical sketches, photocopied images of Edwards Anderson; programs, and Class of 1933 collected during her tenure at Avery Institute; certificates of recognition from her work tenure with the United States Department of the Army, and civic organizations; correspondence (received and sent): and brief documents pertaining to The North Central Neighborhood Council of Charleston (South Carolina). Also included are 150th Anniversary programs from Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ (Charleston, South Carolina).

Series 2. The Edwards and Anderson Family Contains genealogical information, brief photocopied photographic images; biographical sketches; newspaper articles, and obsequies programs of Edwards Anderson's immediate family members: her parents, Susanne Simmons Edwards and Jacob Francis Edwards, Sr.; her brothers, Richard Leon, Jacob Francis, John Arthur, and sister-in-law, Johnette Mencile Green Edwards. Also included are brief documents pertaining to her husband, Steward Eugene Anderson, Jr., and funeral programs on various family and friends, many who attended Avery Institute.

Series 3. The Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture Contains scattered agendas and meeting minutes, letters and memorandums, newsletters, mailing listings, programs and booklets associated with the former school and the establishment of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Also included are certificates of recognition to Edwards Anderson for her service as board member.

Series 4. Various Materials Hold brief event programs and ephemera collected by Edwards Anderson. Of note is a full editorial page from The Lighthouse and Informer (22 October 1949), a former leading African American periodical published weekly in Columbia, South Carolina.

Series 5. Oversize Materials Contains two (2) Avery Normal Institute "Licentiate of Instruction" diplomas (1920, 1927).


  • Creation: 1920-2002, undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1995


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.

Biographical Note

Vivienne Carlotta Edwards Anderson (1913-2005) was born to Susanna Norena Simmons Edwards and Jacob Francis Edwards, Sr., in Charleston, South Carolina. She attended Immaculate Conception Catholic School, and Avery Institute, (Class of 1933, with honors), matriculating to Hunter College and New York University. Anderson also studied at Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York) for millinery techniques and the Allen School for Health Sciences in Physician's Aide work (New York).

Anderson has held various positions throughout her life which included owning a tailoring business in New York City; a social worker for the Bureau of Social Welfare in Charleston, South Carolina; and a physician's aide at the Veterans Administration Hospital in New York and Charleston. She retired after thirty years of service from the United States Department of the Army as an accounting technician in 1978.

Edwards married Stewart Eugene Anderson in 1970.

Civically, Anderson served as a charter member of The Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture (AIAAH&C). During her tenure, she served on the Executive Committee and as chairperson for numerous committees including Membership and Fundraising. Edwards Anderson was also the president of the North Central Neighborhood Council of Charleston, served on The Women Auxiliary of the YMCA, and volunteered with the Red Cross, Friends of the Library (Charleston County), and Friends of the Children, among other local organizations and associations.

Edwards Anderson's legacy and devotion for the Avery Research Center continues through an $100,000 endowment which she designated to the institution upon her passing in 2005.


Waldo, Tenisha. "Charleston, S.C. woman leaves $100.00 to African-American history center." Post and CourierOn-line, accessed 8 January 2015.


0.417 linear feet (1 archival box, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Vivienne Edwards Anderson (1914-2006), a former student of Avery Institute (Class of 1933), and was one of the initial members of the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture (AIAAH&C), which was established for the creation of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston. The collection contains brief documents relating to Edwards Anderson's life, genealogical information of her immediate family members: parents, Susanne Simmons Edwards, and Jacob Francis Edwards, Sr., brothers, Richard Leon, Jacob Francis, Jr. John Arthur and sister-in-law, Johnette Mencile Green Edwards. The majority of the collection contains administrative documents (minutes, letters and memorandums, mailing lists, newsletters, and event programs) related to her AIAAH&C Executive Committee work during the years of 1979-1994.

Collection Arrangement

Series 1: Biographical Documents

Series 2: The Edwards and Anderson Families

Series 3: The Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture

Series 4: Various Documents

Series 5: Oversize Materials

Acquisitions Information

Papers were donated by Vivienne Edwards Anderson, 26 October, 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, January 2015

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, January 2015

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, January 2015

Vivienne Edwards Anderson papers AMN 1144
Finding aid prepared by Georgette Mayo
January 2015
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