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University of Louisville University Libraries


Digital Collections : Simmons College of Kentucky Collection

Simmons College of Kentucky Collection

About the Collection

Simmons College of Kentucky dates back to 1879 when the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky opened the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute. Known as State University in 1883, by 1921 the name had changed again to Simmons University. With the development of Louisville Municipal College in 1931, Simmons University moved campuses and in 1982 changed its name to Simmons Bible College. As of 2007, the school has taken on a new identity as a liberal arts college and now goes by the name of Simmons College of Kentucky. Providing black Kentuckians with higher education in both theology and the arts and sciences, Simmons College plays a very important role in the history of education in Louisville.

The Simmons Bible College Records includes school catalogues, yearbooks, promotional literature, scrapbooks, and photographs, together with minutes and other publications of the school's sponsoring agency, the General Association of Kentucky Baptists (formerly the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky). Also present is material on Central Law School and Louisville National Medical College, affiliates of the college, and on the history of the General Association and black Baptists in Kentucky; African American elementary, secondary, higher, and professional education in Kentucky; African Americans in Louisville; Kentucky's Day Law (1904); and Louisville Municipal College. Represented in the papers are William J. Simmons (1849-1890) and Charles Henry Parrish Sr., president from 1918 to 1931. Also included is historical material from Simmons University including scrapbooks, yearbooks from 1921 and 1922, and one 1928 unsigned diploma.

The digital collection includes the photo collection, fifteen catalogues ranging from 1881 to 1968, and two yearbooks. Most of the photographs date to the 1920s and portray students, faculty, and staff in group poses, giving some idea of the facilities at Simmons. The catalogues begin with the 1881-1882 session of the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute and continue through the renaming of the school as State University in 1884, Simmons University in the 1920s, and Simmons Bible College in the 1960s. Course descriptions; school rules; lists of faculty, staff, and students; tuition and fee information; descriptions of the buildings and grounds; extracurricular activities; and some photographs can be found in these catalogues.

Conditions of Use

The University of Louisville welcomes fair use of this website and its contents. If you wish to publish, broadcast, or publicly display these materials, please notify Archives and Special Collections. In addition, it is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions, which may include paying fees for commercial use. For further information about permissions, use, and ordering reproductions, see Order Reproductions, or contact Archives and Special Collections, University of Louisville.

To cite an image from this collection, please use the format:

[Image Number], Simmons Bible College Records, University Archives and Records Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

To cite the digital version, add its Reference URL (found by following the link in the header above the digital file).


The digital collection materials were scanned on Microtek flatbed scanners by Carrie Daniels, Rachael Ritter, and Rachel I. Howard in 2007-2012. Some cropping and rotating was done using Photoshop. Rachel I. Howard converted the photographs from TIFFs into JPEGs of 600 pixels on the long side, using IrfanView version 4.25, and converted the texts from TIFFs into JPEG2000 files using CONTENTdm version 6.1.2.

Meredith Maple researched and created metadata for the collection in accordance with the University of Louisville Digital Initiatives data dictionary (PDF) and based in part on information gathered by University Archives and Records Center staff who processed the collection and created its finding aid. Terri Holtze designed the HTML pages.


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