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Emma Guffey Miller Collection

Identifier: 2-5-1

Scope and Contents

The contents of the Emma Guffey Miller collection include speech transcripts, personal correspondence, and personal essays, as well as various publications by and about Miller. Also included in this collection are miscellaneous invitations, memorabilia, and ephemera, both personal and political in nature.


  • 1904 - 1970

Conditions Governing Use

"The items in this collection are protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use these items in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

See In Copyright-Educational Use Permitted on for more infomation.

The Slippery Rock University Archives assumes no responsibility for copyright infringement by users. Contact the Archives at for more information."

Biographical / Historical

Emma Guffey Miller (1874-1970) was a renowned Democratic Party leader, Slippery Rock State College trustee, and pioneer for the rights of women. Born in Guffey Station, Pennsylvania, Miller attended Bryn Mawr College, graduating with a degree in History and Political Science in 1899. Following her graduation, she met and married Carroll Miller (1875-1949) while teaching and traveling in Japan. The couple returned to the United States in 1907, where she became actively engaged in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and began working within the Democratic Party.

Miller’s involvement in the Democratic Party began in 1920 when she campaigned for Democratic candidates and was elected to the Democratic National Convention in 1924. Miller was also an active member of the National Woman’s Party, having been elected chair and life president between 1960 and 1970. Her work within the state of Pennsylvania was prolific, and she was instrumental in the establishment of the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women. Miller was elected Democratic National Committeewoman from Pennsylvania in 1932 and maintained this position until her death in 1970.

Emma Guffey Miller was an advocate for women’s rights and spoke very favorably on the establishment of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Through her discourse, Miller appealed for religious tolerance, denounced the Ku Klux Klan, spoke out for prohibition reform, and even made statements regarding disarmament. Staunch in her political positions and beliefs, she developed personal relationships and friendships with notable Democratic Party members, including Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Since 1920, Miller, along with her husband and children, lived on a farm in Wolf Creek only a few miles from Slippery Rock State College. Having lived in the area her entire life, Emma Guffey Miller was actively involved in the educational system at Slippery Rock. She was nominated to the Slippery Rock State College Board of Trustees in 1933 and served until 1968. During this time, she was dedicated to upgrading the campus and bettering the student experience by utilizing her political connections. Miller was vital in allocating funding for new building initiatives, including construction of several classroom buildings, a home for the president, a library, and a new North Hall after a fire destroyed the old North Hall in 1937. Without her political connections, many of these projects may never have come to fruition.

After years of dedication to Slippery Rock State College, the College honored Emma Guffey Miller in 1960 by naming its newly constructed performance space, Emma Guffey Miller Auditorium. The dedication ceremony was attended by many, including Emma Guffey Miller herself. Miller Auditorium is a testament to her impact on the Slippery Rock community and the influence of women in politics.


1.12 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into 7 series.

Series 1: Speeches

Series 2: Correspondence

Series 3: Papers

Series 4: Publications

Series 5: Invitations

A: Presidential Invitations

B: Personal and Political Invitations

Series 6: Memorabilia and Ephemera

A: Political Memorabilia and Ephemera

B: Personal Memorabilia and Ephemera

Series 7: Photographs

Related Materials

More material on Emma Guffey Miller is housed at Harvard University in the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.

Information on Emma Guffey Miller's materials located in the SRU Special Collections.

See also the Leila Vincent Collection (2-5-2)

Guide to the Emma Guffey Miller Collection
Sara Dickensheets
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Slippery Rock University Archives and Special Collections Repository

315 Bailey Library
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock PA 16057