Vanessa Broussard Simmons

Vanessa Broussard Simmons

Supervisory Archivist

M.A., American Studies, George Washington University
B.A., African American Studies, University of Maryland

Chair

Smithsonian Institution Archives and Special Collections Council 

Research Specialties: 
  • Preservation of Archival Materials
  • Advertising
Role in Museum: 

Manages arrangement and description work of the collections in the Archives Center.  Develops policies and procedures for all preservation activities and serves as liaison between the Archives Center and NMAH's Preservation Services.     

Projects: 

Smithsonian Institution Collections Care Preservation Fund Collaborative Processing Project, 2016-2017
Archives Fair: Performance and Preservation, 2017
Preservation Workshops, George Washington University, Museum Studies Program, 2017

Past Projects:

Archives Fair: Transitions, 2016
District of Columbia Africana Archives Processing Project, 2014-2016
Save Our African American Treasures, National Museum of African American History and Culture, 2012-14

Processing Projects:

Bridgwater Family Papers, 1880s-1970s
Multi-generational African American family who were active in the black community in Helena, Montana.

Marilyn E. Jackler Memorial Collection of Tobacco Advertisements, circa 1890-2013
Print advertisements documenting the history of tobacco advertising in America, emphasizing the deceptive advertising practices employed by the tobacco industry to lure and keep smokers.

National Cotton Council Photographic Archives, circa 1960s-1980s
Photographs and films documenting cotton cultivation, the cotton industry and promotion of its use.

Edward J. Orth Memorial Archives of the World's Fair, 1939-1940
Materials documenting the 1939 World's Fair and the activities of the Exhibition Collectors Historical Organization (ECHO).

Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1992
Collection documenting the life and musical career of Robert “Bobby” Tucker emphasizing his close collaboration with Billy Eckstine and collaboration with Quincy Jones on the musical "The Wiz."

Graciela Papers, 1943-2010
Papers relating to the life and career of well-known Afro-Cuban singer Graciela Perez-Gutierrez.

Duncan P. Schiedt Photograph Collection
Schiedt’s photographs of jazz performers, photographs of jazz performers by other photographers, research notes, films and recordings of jazz.

Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, circa 1880-2010
Research materials on jazz and jazz artists including personal papers of Barney Bigard, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Wild Bill Davison, Duke Ellington, Joe Darensbourg, Ed "Monitude" Garland, Kid Ory, Eubie Blake and Buster Wilson.

Richard Becker Collection of Alex Bradford Gospel Music Materials, 1950-1997
Papers documenting Bradford’s career as a composer of Gospel music and his creation of "Your Arm's Too Short to Box with God."

Scurlock Studio Records, circa 1888-1996
Business records and photographic materials documenting the Washington, DC studio including portraits of African American luminaries, Howard University, the African American community and America’s political activities.

WANN Radio Station Records, 1940-1999
Materials documenting the business and regulatory history of one of the first radio stations with a black-oriented format.

Exhibitions:

Curatorial team member, Field to Factory, NMAH, 1987
Curatorial team member, Separate Is Not Equal: Brown vs the Board of Education, NMAH, 2004
Curatorial team member, Ralph Bunche: Statesman/Activist/Peacemaker, NMAH, 2004

Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 
  • Afro-American Communities Project Graduate Fellowship, GWU/NMAH, 1983-1984
  • Peer Recognition Award, NMAH,1993 Peer Recognition Award, NMAH, 2003