Collection ASM0650 - Bob Simms collection

Open original Digital object

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Bob Simms collection


  • 1907-2006 (Creation)


107 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Bob Simms was born in Snow Hill, Alabama in 1927. Shortly after his birth, Bob Simms' parents Alberta (1888-1970) and Harry Simms (1884-1949) relocated to the community of Tuskegee, Alabama, as members of the music faculty.  Harry Simms was one of Dr. Washington Carver's students in the class of 1907 and often took his youngest son Bob with him on visits to Dr. Carver's home.

Bob Simms moved to Florida in 1953 to join the faculty of the George Washington Carver schools in Coconut Grove and later served as Executive Director of the Metro Dade Community Relations Board from 1968 to 1983. Mr. Simms developed the Miami Inner-City Minority Experience (MICME) for the U.S. Department of Defense in the 1970s and led efforts to create and implement the Inner City Marine Project - now known as Mast Academy. With his wife Aubrey Watkins Simms, he was a founding member of the Church of the Open Door in Liberty City and is the father if the first black woman to serve as judge in Florida, Leah Simms. Mr. Simms is Emeritus Member of the University of Miami, Board of Trustees.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Bob Simms collection documents the life and activities of Robert H. Simms in the black communities in Coconut Grove and Miami and reflects his work with the Community Relations Board and the Defense Race Relations Institute. The collection also contains  campaign materials from Leah Simms, the first African American female judge in the state of Florida, and the "Glory in the Grove" photographs of people and events at the George Washington Carver elementary and high schools in Coconut Grove before desegregation. A final component of the collection includes photographs, correspondence and clippings of General "Chappie" James and his family. General James was the first four star African American General and married Dorothy Watkins.

System of arrangement

Series I. Simms Family

Sub-series A. Photographs

Sub-series B. Correspondence and other documents

Sub-series C. Audio Recordings

Series II. George Washington Carver School Photographs and Yearbooks

Series III. Community Relations Board

Series IV. Miami Inner City Minority Experience / Defense Race Relations Institute

Series V. Minority Inner City Marine Project

Sub-series A. Photographs

Sub-series B. Correspondence

Series VI. Bob Simms Daily Logs

Series VII. Judge Leah A. Simms Campaign Material

Series VIII. General "Chappie" James and family

Series IX. Negatives

Series X. Awards & Exhibits

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

Items from this collection are kept on-campus and may be requested from the first floor Kislak Center in the Otto G. Richter Library at University of Miami.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Bob Simms collection Finding Aid © 2009 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Robert H. Simms, 2007.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Selected materials from this collection have been digitized.

Related archival materials

Bob Simms : An Activist's Life and Legacy (online exhibit):

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Other Information:

The attached container list is specific to "Series 9: Negatives."  It is an inventory of the negative file for Bob Simms' photographic collection and features people, organizations, activities and events from Coconut Grove, South Miami and Richmond Heights from 1953 to 1964.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

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Digital object metadata





Media type





2.5 MiB


May 18, 2018 3:52 PM

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area