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Marian McCamy Sims papers

Identifier: MS0005

Scope and Contents

The greater part of this collection comprises printed copies of the short stories of Marian McCamy Sims as they appeared in popular magazines from 1933 to 1956. Among the other items included are the incomplete type-script of her novel Beyond Surrender; drafts of an untitled and unfinished novel; manuscript and carbon copies of 15 short stories; notes and drafts of additional stories; copies of four articles (three written by Sims) about her writing, correspondence, and a photograph of Sims.


  • Creation: 1922 - 1961


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Marian McCamy Sims was born in Dalton, Georgia on October 16, 1898, to Julian and Grace Gardner McCamy. She had one sister (Mary), and two brothers (Frank and Warren). As a young adult, she matriculated through Agnes Scott College, where she was president of her class during her senior year. After completing her formal education in 1920 she returned to Dalton, where she taught French and history at the local public school. In addition, she also wrote for the Dalton newspaper, and the Atlanta Journal. Marian married Frank Sims in 1927 (Frank’s sister married Marian’s brother, Robert). Later, in 1930, Frank and Marian moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she began writing fiction. It was because of her connection with the Atlanta Journal, that she was sent a book manuscript to read as a literary consultant. The manuscript, by Margaret Mitchell, would later be published under the title Gone with the Wind, a story that Sims found compelling. Following her examination of Mitchell’s manuscript, Sims and Mitchell developed a long-time friendship as literary colleagues.

As Sims matured as a fiction writer in the 1930s, the hallmark of her writing became the Southern culture of ordinary people, rather than stereotypes of land-owning gentry or the poor inhabitants of Southern “tobacco roads.” Sims’ writing of “normal” people concentrated on business men, lawyers or others who spent their free time playing bridge or golf. Sims was one of the developers of the image of the “New South.” Literary critic Christine Govan, of the Chatanooga Times, wrote of Sims writing:

Where Marian Sims does her finest writing…is in the brief, revealing glimpses of social life in the south. As a depicter of small gossip—bitter, sly, and often penetrating—heard around the bridge table; of the vapid and ennuled chaff of drunks at a dance or on the beach; of the hot fervor and dramatic intensity of a religious tent meeting; the intricate petty red tape and backbiting at school board meetings…in this sort of thing, she is unsurpassed.

By the end of her career Sims wrote seven novels, and dozens of short stories, most of which appeared in prominent magazines, such as Ladies’ Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, McCalls and more. Aside from her literary occupation, Sims was active in tennis, golf, horseback riding, gardening, drama, theatre, and especially bridge.

Marion Sims died of cancer in 1961 in Charlotte at the age of 62.


3.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Chiefly printed copies of short stories by a Charlotte writer. Also includes an incomplete typescript of her novel, Beyond Surrender, drafts of an untitled and unfinished novel, manuscript and typed copies of 15 short stories, articles about her writing, and obituaries.


The collection is arranged into two series, with manuscript copies standing on their own not arranged into particular series. The correspondence series is arranged alphabetically by last name. The series are:

Short Stories - No Tite Given and Correspondence

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Frank Sims, 1966. Gift of Harry L. Dalton. Gift of Mrs. John Hamrick, 2006

Related Materials

Marion Sims Papers, Dalton State College, Dalton, Georgia

Processing Information

Processed by Robin Brabham, 1992; Bob McInnes, 2006.


Marian McCamy Sims papers
Finding aid written by Robin Brabham
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
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