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University Libraries - News, Events & Exhibits

Simms Initiatives celebration with keynote speaker Dr. Coleman Hutchison

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, Program Room
Sep 25, 2014 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM


Now that the finishing touches have been applied to The Simms Initiatives, an event to celebrate the huge digital project will take place on Thursday, September 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hollings Library on the University of South Carolina campus. Dr. Coleman Hutchison will be the keynote speaker; a reception will follow. The event is free and open to the community.

The Simms Initiatives ( is a University of South Carolina Libraries digital project that provides worldwide access to the work of 19th-century author William Gilmore Simms (1806 - 1870). Born in Charleston, Simms was a novelist, poet, short-story writer, essayist, speaker and leading literary figure of his day.

Jointly funded by the Watson-Brown Foundation of Thomson, Georgia, and the USC Libraries, the four-year project was charged with producing a comprehensive bibliographic database that would be a resource for scholars studying Simms and his work.

“The Simms Initiatives is now one of the world’s largest single-author digital repositories, consisting of 110 printed works, nine scrapbooks, 37 journal issues, two manuscript novels, and pages and pages of support content,” said Todd Hagstette, Director of the Simms Initiatives. “Dr. Hutchison is a leading expert in the literary history of the 19th-century South, and he is a central figure in the study and presentation of the world, culture and times in which Simms participated. He also wrote an introduction for the Simms Initiatives edition of Simms’s War Poetry of the South (1866). We are certainly fortunate to have him joining us at our event.”

An associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin, Hutchison (shown here in a photo courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin) teaches and writes about U.S. literature and culture to 1900. He also is the author of the first literary history of the Civil War South, Apples and Ashes: Literature, Nationalism, and the Confederate States of America (2012). His work has appeared in many venues, including American Literary History, Comparative American Studies, CR: The New Centennial Review, Journal of American Studies, and The Emily Dickinson Journal. In addition to editing the Cambridge History of American Civil War Literature, Hutchison is working on two books-in-progress. His research has been supported by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Bibliographical Society of America, among others.       

To attend this event, please let us know how many are in your party by contacting or 803-576-6016 by Friday, September 19.

Read more about The Simms Initiatives here.