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Kelly Miller family papers

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 1050

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Kelly Miller from 1890-1989. The papers contain correspondence, writings, subject files, printed material, photographs and other papers, and the papers of his wife Annie Mae Miller. The correspondence includes incoming and outgoing letters regarding article submissions to and from African American and non-African American mainstream press outlets. The correspondence also includes communications from his tenure as professor of Mathematics and Sociology and as Dean of the Junior College at Howard University. Correspondence from civic groups to which he belonged and personal correspondence from family and acquaintances is also included.

The writings by Miller include manuscript and typescript copies of article drafts, outlines, poetry, speeches, and the "Oath of Afro-American Youth" dating from 1916-1939. Topics of the writings include constitutional law, analysis of the 14th, 15th, and 18th amendments, prohibition, lynching and mob violence, the New Deal, presidential policy analysis, African-Americans and communism, race relations, the Republican Party, African American colleges and universities, and Howard University. Writings by others consist of articles, speeches, and one radio transcript. Writings by others discuss college life and curricula, primary and secondary education, race and education, and the New Deal. The radio transcript discusses James Bland, an African American musician on whom Kelly Miller did research.

The subject files consist of records from institutions and associations to which Miller belonged and include reports, reviews, and meeting minutes from the Harriet Tubman Aid to the Blind and the Hampton-Tuskegee Endowment Fund among other civic organizations. The subject files also contain records kept by Miller during his tenure as dean at Howard University. These records include meeting minutes and reports from the Board of Trustees, faculty meetings, the committee on salaries, the alumni association, among others between 1922 and 1935. Topical folders consist of material related to James Bland, Mexican immigration, and blacks in medicine.

The printed material series is divided into printed material about Miller, printed material by Miller, and general printed material which he collected. In addition, a set of scrapbooks contains articles by and about Miller. The printed material about Miller includes programs of events, leaflets promoting his published writings, articles analyzing or responding to positions taken by Miller, and material memorializing Miller. Printed material by Miller includes published articles in journals and newspapers including copies of his syndicated column "Kelly Miller Says" published in African American newspapers. General printed material consists of items collected by Miller and includes articles, meeting fliers, church bulletins, and commencement programs from African American schools and universities.

Photographs and other papers consist of material from circa 1880 to 1939. Photographs of Miller include portraits and candid shots of Miller, individuals, and a photo album of Miller with alumni and family. Article price lists, article submission lists, incomplete biographical papers, ephemera, financial records, mailing lists, newspaper lists, and notes are also found here. The collection also includes material relating to Kelly Miller's wife and children including personal correspondence, financial records, newspaper clippings, and photographs.


  • 1890-1989

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Biographical Note

Kelly Miller (1863-1939), an African American intellectual and professor, was born in South Carolina in 1863, just a few months after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South. As a child Miller expressed a penchant for mathematics, and he was sent for special education in a Presbyterian-sponsored school. After secondary school, he received a scholarship to study at Howard University. He graduated from Howard in 1886 and became the first African American student to enroll at John Hopkins University in Baltimore. There he studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy. Although unable to complete his education due to financial constraints, he taught mathematics in high school and eventually became a professor of mathematics at Howard University.

Miller was an educator and administrator, a commentator on race in America, and a widely published journalist. He is recognized as a prolific African American pamphleteer, producing dozens of essays published by him or by other African American publishers. He edited Kelly Miller's Monographic Magazine, and he wrote a half dozen books.

Miller served Howard University in multiple capacities from 1890-1934, teaching both mathematics and sociology. He was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for more than a dozen years, during a period of dramatic expansion of the University. He married Annie Mae Miller (1869-1950) of Baltimore, Maryland in 1894, and they had five children: Kelly Miller, Jr. (a graduate of Howard University medical school), Isaac Newton Miller, Paul Butler Miller, May Miller, and Irene Miller. Kelly Miller died December 29, 1939.


22.25 linear feet (46 boxes); 15 bound volumes (BV); 2 oversized papers boxes (OP)


Papers of African American intellectual and professor Kelly Miller, including correspondence, writings, subject files, printed material, photographs and other papers, in addition to the papers of his wife Annie Mae Miller, and children.

Arrangement Note

Organized into six series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Writings, (3) Subject files, (4) Printed material, (5) Photographs and other papers, and (6) Family papers.


Purchase, 2007.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Kelly Miller papers, Howard University, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (Washington, D.C.)

Separated Material

In Emory's holdings are books and pamphlets formerly owned by Kelly Miller. These materials may be located in the Emory University online catalog by searching for: Miller, Kelly, former owner.

The May Miller papers were originally received as part of this collection and separated to form their own collection due to their size, research value, and distinct provenance.


Control level 3


File name: millerkelly1050.doc


Processed by Alicia Monroe, January 2008.

Control level 3

File name: millerkelly1050.doc

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Kelly Miller family papers, 1894-1989
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
July 21, 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States