Skip to Content

University Libraries - South Caroliniana - Summer Fellowships - Simms

William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professorship


This award will be offered for the summer of 2018.
Applications must be received by February 16, 2018.


Summer Fellowships

Simms Initiative | William Gilmore Simms Society

William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) was a native South Carolinian who gained far-ranging literary acclaim as the most prolific Southern writer of the antebellum period. Hailed as the man of the letters of the Old South, Simms garnered the respect of readers in the North and South, including such contemporaries as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, and Edgar Allan Poe. Simms' versatility and talent led him to write 72 book-length works, including novels, short story collections, poetry, drama, literary criticism, essays, histories, and biographies. Following the Civil War and after his death, Simms' works fell out of favor. Fortunately, recent research has revived interest in and appreciation for his writings.

Through the William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professorship, scholars are able to explore and study the extensive collection of Simms' published and manuscript works held by the South Caroliniana Library, as well as the published and manuscript works of writers from South Carolina and elsewhere whose works are represented in the Library’s rich holdings.

Mary C. Simms Oliphant, of Greenville, S.C., originated the fund to honor Simms, her grandfather. Contributions from her daughter, Mrs. Alester G. Furman III, and other family and friends made possible the establishment of the Simms Visiting Research Professorship.

Awarded annually since 1995, the Simms Professorship provides researchers with the opportunity to conduct research during the summer months at the South Caroliniana Library, the primary repository of Simms’ published and unpublished works. United States citizens and interested internationals are encouraged to apply.  Internationals coming from abroad will be expected to participate as a J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsored by the University of South Carolina.  Internationals already in the U.S. must hold a valid U.S. immigration status that allows payment for a summer research fellowship.

Each proposal will be evaluated on its merits. Primary consideration will be given to projects involving the substantive study of issues of general interest and doctoral and post-doctoral studies. Each proposal should be aimed at a discrete end product such as a book, dissertation, thesis, article, documentary, film, or exhibit. Budgets will be examined and may be approved in whole or in part.

In return for accepting support, each award recipient is required to acknowledge the William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professorship in any resulting published works and donate a copy (or copies) of said works to the library.  The recipient may also be requested to submit a brief article summarizing his or her findings and research experience for publication in the Library’s newsletter.


Applicants should submit the following:
● Cover letter with contact information, including full name, mailing and physical address, telephone, and email.
● An essay of not more than 1,000 words discussing the topic of research and how the Library’s collection will be utilized.
● A research prospectus including proposed length of stay and overall project budget clearly stating the amount requested and how the award will be spent..
● Current curriculum vitæ.
● Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's scholarly ability and significance of their research project.


Send materials to:

South Caroliniana Library at Thomas Cooper Library
University of South Carolina
Attention: Todd Hoppock
1322 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Applications must be received by February 16, 2018.

For further information, please contact Todd Hoppock at or call 803-777-3131.

The award recipient(s) will be announced on or before March 19, 2018.