Gattie Holmes was a single professional African-American woman whose music career teaching piano spanned from the 1940s through the 1990s. She was the daughter of a Canadian Native-American mother and an African-American father. As a child Holmes lived in New Haven, Connecticut, where her father owned a candy store. Holmes was a very musical child and her parents enrolled her in the Royal College of Music in London when she was a teenager. Either in Europe or later in the United States, she studied with the Austrian-American classical pianist Arthur Schnabel and with the pianist Lee Pattison, who built the music program at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Pattison recruited Holmes and she moved out to Claremont, California where she built a house and business as a music instructor. At some point, possibly from when Holmes attended the Royal College of Music, she began passing for white. She spent her entire professional career in Claremont, California, and participated in the Los Angeles music scene, without others being aware of her ethnic heritage. The collection includes correspondence; notebooks; sheet music; newspaper articles; music notebooks; and more. The materials document Holmes' personal life, music career, and other creative projects and interests.