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Jean Miles Catino and Emma Bell Miles papers

Identifier: MS-078

Scope and Contents

This collection contains Catino's correspondence and papers as well as journals, artwork, and photographs created by Emma Bell Miles, Catino's mother. The Emma Bell Miles content documents mountain life on Walden Ridge in the early 20th century. The collection also includes Catino's correspondence with Emma Bell Miles biographer, Kay Baker Gaston. Materials in the collection are dated from 1866 to 2000.


  • Creation: 1866-2000


Language of Materials

This collection contains materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Most of this collection is open for research. A portion of Jean Miles Catino correspondence is restricted by the donor, Jean Miles Catino, and Emma Bell Miles journals are restricted due to their fragility. Facsimiles of the journals are available for access and use.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright status of this collection has not been evaluated.

Biographical / Historical

Jean Miles Catino was a resident of Walden Ridge, Tennessee who studied art in Chicago and taught weaving at the Fyre Insitute in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Catino was also a successful painter, selling landscapes and wildlife portraits to a variety of museums and businesses. She was one of five children of Emma Bell Miles, a Chattanooga naturalist, author, and artist who kept a journal, wrote books, published short stories and poetry in national magazines, and created art that documents early 20th century life and nature in southern Appalachia.

Emma Bell Miles was born in 1879 to teachers Benjamin Franklin and Martha Ann Mirick Bell, and attended the Saint Louis School of Art for a year before returning to Walden Ridge, Tennessee, where she eloped with Frank Miles on October 30, 1901, just three weeks after the death of her mother. She suffered from poor health and the Miles family struggled to make ends meet despite the sale of Emma's poetry, short stories, books, and art to publishers and local buyers. Her most famous work is The Spirit of the Mountains, a book about mountain life. Emma spent her final days writing and illustrating Our Southern Birds, which was published just two weeks before her death on 1919 March 19.


2.94 Linear Feet (8 containers)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Jean Miles Catino donated this collection to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on 2000 May 12.

Sharon Schrock donated the Scenic - Historic Map of Signal Mountain Tennessee painting by Jean Miles Catino to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on 2018 February 11 after purchasing the print in a thrift store in Woodburn, Oregon sometime between 1993 and 2003.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically at

Related Materials

This collections' original copies are housed in the Chattanooga Public Library.

Processing Information

Processing of this collection is complete.

Jean Miles Catino and Emma Bell Miles papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collection Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collection Area

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Library
c/o Special Collections
600 Douglas Street
Chattanooga Tennessee 37403 United States