Simms, Samuel (1894–1967) medical doctor, bibliophile, and local historian, was born in Belfast, son of Rev. S. Simms of 22 Oldpark Crescent. After attending RBAI from 1905, he was a brilliant scholar in the school of medicine at QUB (MB (1919), B.Sc., MD), winning several gold medals. He then carried out extensive research in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, in New York, and in Vienna. On returning to Ireland, he was a staff member of the Ulster Hospital for Women and Sick Children, Templemore Avenue, Belfast, for thirty-four years, and also worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, for many years. A member of the RCPI, he was deputy coroner for Belfast, and honorary physician of the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, Co. Down.
Apart from medicine, Simms's interests were in literature, local history, books, and manuscripts. He founded and contributed to The Ulsterman (i: nos. 1–4, May–Aug. 1933), a magazine of literature and local studies, and was president of the Belfast Literary Society. While several of his writings concerned medical subjects (e.g., ‘The founder of the Belfast medical school’, Ulster Medical Journal, i (1934)), he wrote more frequently on literature and history, and compiled two important bibliographies, on the Orange society (IBL, xxv & addenda (1937)) and the United Irishmen (IHS, i (1938–9)). In 1960 QUB purchased for its Hibernica collection Simms's collection of foreign books relating to Ireland and his large general collection of works of Irish interest, including books by Irish persons printed abroad. QUB subsequently purchased his extensive collection, amounting to some 3,600 volumes, of early medical works and books on medical history. Simms was married but had no children. He died 28 February 1967 at his home and surgery, 618 Antrim Rd, Belfast.