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Janet L. Sims-Wood

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Information about Janet L. Sims-Wood

Profile image of Janet L. Sims-Wood

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historian
Reference Librarian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Green, Yellow
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
They That Wait Upon The Lord Shall Renew Their Strength; They Shall Mount Up With Wings As The Eagles; They Shall Run And Not Be Weary; They Shall Walk And Not Faint.

Birthplace

Born:
5/22/1945
Birth Location:
Rutherfordton, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historian
Reference Librarian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Green, Yellow
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
They That Wait Upon The Lord Shall Renew Their Strength; They Shall Mount Up With Wings As The Eagles; They Shall Run And Not Be Weary; They Shall Walk And Not Faint.

Birthplace

Born:
5/22/1945
Birth Location:
Rutherfordton
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Biography

Historian, publisher, and reference librarian Janet Louise Sims-Wood was born on May 22, 1945 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina to Marvin and Hazel Sims. Sims-Wood attended Carver High School where she worked in the school library. At the encouragement of her school librarian, she attended college at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, receiving her B.S. degree in sociology with a minor in library science in 1967. Sims-Wood worked in several Washington, D.C. libraries until a supervisor cautioned her that she would not advance without a master's degree. She enrolled at the University of Maryland where, in 1972, she received her M.L.S. degree. Sims-Wood later completed twenty-one hours in African American history at Howard University before earning her Ph.D. in 1994 in women’s studies, history and oral history from Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also holds a ministerial diploma from the Spirit of Faith (SOF) Bible Institute in Temple Hills, Maryland.

Sims-Wood began her career in library science in 1972 as a Reader’s Advisor in the Black Studies Division of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. This experience led to her interest and specialization in African American history. In 1974, Sims-Wood became an assistant reference librarian at Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. She was appointed to Assistant Chief Librarian for Reference, Reader Services of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center in 1987, a position she held until her retirement in 2005. Sims-Wood has taught black women’s history courses at the University of Maryland, and has served as a children’s librarian with the Washington, D.C. Public Library System. She worked part-time for Prince George’s Community College Library. Sims-Wood was part of a team of librarians who provide online services through a nation-wide 24/7 virtual reference program called AskUsNow.

Sims-Wood is a founding associate editor of SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women which published the anthology Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers and Daughters. She was the founder of a small publishing company, Afro Resources, Inc., which published a 1993 calendar depicting black women who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Sims-Wood has served as a consultant to several publishers and agencies, including Carlson Publishing Company’s Black Women in America series and the American Girl's Addy doll and book series. Sims-Wood has also served as a bibliographer for the annual Black History Month kits of the Association for the Study of American Life and History. She is a life member and has held several executive positions in the Association for the Study of American Life and History and the Association of Black Women Historians.

Janet Sims-Wood was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2007.

See how Janet L. Sims-Wood is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Janet L. Sims-Wood's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jane L. Sims-Wood describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the community of Avondale, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Janet Sims-Wood describes her early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers Dunbar Elementary School in Forest City, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her elementary school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers her favorite subjects
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her experiences at Carver High School in Spindale, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her aspiration to attend college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her early interest in reading
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her aspiration to become a librarian
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers sewing her own clothing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her childhood home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood lists her siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers the music and television programs of her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her decision to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her first year of college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her extracurricular activities in college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her start as a librarian
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her experiences at the University of Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers her professors at the University of Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her projects at the University of Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls publishing her first academic article
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the patrons of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes an apocryphal story about Charles R. Drew
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about the importance of African American history
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her role as a librarian
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her research on the Ku Klux Klan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her dissertation on the Women's Army Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls interviewing members of the Women's Army Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Women's Army Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers Dovey Johnson Roundtree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about black women's experiences of racism in the U.S. military
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers founding the SAGE journal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls developing an American Girl doll
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her publishing company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood lists the African American academic journals
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Maryland Humanities Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her trip to South Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her historical research projects
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about conducting oral history interviews, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about conducting oral history interviews, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls completing her dissertation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers her research on the Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her husband and stepchildren
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Spirit of Faith Christian Center in Temple Hill, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the library at the Spirit of Faith Bible Institute in Temple Hills, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her librarian duties at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the challenges of teaching research skills
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about researching her family history
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Kids' Black History on the Net project
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her organizational involvement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her work with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood reflects upon her career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her breast cancer diagnosis
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood narrates her photographs