Finding aid prepared by Julie Williams
Robert Whitfield Miles papers
University of Kentucky Special Collections
Collection is arranged by subject.
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
75M17: [identification of item], Robert Whitfield Miles papers, 1907-1964, bulk 1907-1952, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
8.09 Cubic feet
Minister and historian, Robert Miles was born in Richmond, Virginia, and attended Richmond College, Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary. He was a secretary in the Young Men's Christian Association, and in that capacity, accompanied American troops to France in World War I. He began his ministerial career as assistant pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1920, and next was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Auburn, Alabama (in fall of 1921). In 1925, he was named University Secretary for the Presbyterian Church in the United States (based in Louisville, Kentucky), a position in which he travelled to supervise church work for students at colleges and universities. In March 1927, he was appointed as pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he served until 1933, when he was appointed as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky; Miles held the position until his death in 1952. He was on the Board of Trustees of Centre College from 1934 to 1941.
In addition to his ministerial reponsibilities, Miles was interested in historical research. His first book, That Frenchman, John Calvin, was published in 1939. His next work, Christian Reconstruction (1944), was widely used throughout the Presbyterian Church in the United States. A biography of Robert J. Breckinridge, the Kentucky minister and pioneer educator, remained unfinished at the time of Miles' death.
The Robert Whitfield Miles papers consist of the writings of Robert Whitfield Miles, a prominent minister of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Correspondence composes the bulk of the papers and is primarily personal in nature with some church business following 1921. Additionally, the papers include sermons; photographs; journals; diplomas, degrees, and other awards; a genealogical chart; correspondence concerning Centre College; biographical information; sympathy cards, guest register, and other letters concerning Miles's death; and the draft of and notes for the first nine chapters of the Breckinridge biography.
61M101, Robert W. Miles research on Robert Jefferson Breckinridge, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
61M276, Robert Whitfield Miles papers, 1924-1952, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
PA75M17, Robert Whitfield Miles photographs, 1920, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
The Correspondence series comprises the bulk of the papers and consists of personal and business letters. The business portion of the correspondence concerns church business after 1921.
The Compositions series includes articles, sermons, and talks composed by Miles. Additionally, the series contains notes and drafts of Miles' unfinished biography of Robert J. Breckinridge.
The Centre College correspondence series consists of Miles' correspondence while he served as a member of Centre College's Board of Trustees.
The Genealogy series contains biographical information and photographs concerning Miles as well as a genealogical chart of his wife Dorothy Ankeney Moomaw's family.
The General series consists of materials relating to Miles' death and funeral as well as certificates, diplomas, and degrees for him and his wife Dorothy. Dorothy Ankeney Miles' material includes her high school diploma, her diploma from Randolph-Macon Woman's College, and her membership certificate for the Daughter's of the American Revolution. Robert Whitfield Miles' material includes his Baccalaureate in Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary, his degree from Davidson College, and an honorary doctorate from Washington and Lee University.
This file contains two newspaper articles; one newsprint comic/picture; one instruction booklet; one magazine article; one pagent booklet; one journal; and one calling card.