The Barbara Miller Papers include biographical and genealogical materials, professional papers documenting her library work and service on several community boards, and a few items documenting the lives of her husband, Rowland Miller, and mother Vivian Simmons. There are extensive narratives and photographic materials chronicling her trip to the Soviet Union and a lesser amount on her trip to Europe. Both the slides and accompanying script for her lecture on William H. Sheppard are also found along with several unframed awards and diplomas. Finally, there are a goodly number of photographs of Miller, her husband Rowland, friends, and family members (including the Rabb family) spanning nearly eighty years.
Barbara S. Miller, a Louisville resident, became a children's librarian in 1951 at the racially segregated Western Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. Several years later, with a colleague, she integrated the professional staff at the Main Branch, ultimately advancing to Director of Children's Services. Miller gained early community-wide notoriety as the "Storytelling Lady" on the popular local children's television show T-Bar-V Ranch. After retirement in 1978 Miller served as President of the Kentucky Library Association, a member of the Spalding University Overseers (she was an alumna of Spalding) and the Speed Museum Board, and was active in several other local organizations. In 1987-1988, she was both an interviewer and subject on a grant funded oral history project on the Louisville Free Public Library. (Those interviews are part of the Oral History Center in the University Archives and Records Center.) In the 1990s Miller developed an extensive narrated slide presentation on the life of pioneering Black American missionary to Africa William H. Sheppard. In 1975 she visited European libraries as part of an American delegation and in 1979 traveled more extensively to the Soviet Union to study children's services. Barbara S. Miller died in Louisville on March 26, 2000 at age 90.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Nannette Smith by gift; 06-25-2002.
Barbara Simmons Miller papers, 2011_017-UA. University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections.
Barbara Simmons Miller papers, 2011_017-UA. University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections. https://archivescatalog.library.louisville.edu/repositories/2/resources/300 Accessed October 17, 2021.