William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professor Endowment
Through the William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professor Endowment, scholars are able to explore and study the extensive collection of Simms' published and manuscript works held by the South Caroliniana Library.
WIlliam Gilmore Simms
WIlliam Gilmore Simms (1806–70) 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.
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 presentation of the Simms Visiting Research Professorship to Professor John C. Guilds, a Simms scholar from the University of Arkansas in both 1995 and 1996. In 1997, funds were used for the restoration of Simms' personal scrapbook, which had fallen into disrepair. This scrapbook is housed in the South Caroliniana Library along with numerous other items and papers from Simms' personal library, which was donated by Mrs. Furman in 1997.
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