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Martin Luther King Jr. Digital Archive Goes Live

Over 1 million documents digitized

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Martin Luther King Jr. Digital Archive Goes Live
[ Technology]

A massive collection of documents associated with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has gone live today, a fitting tribute on the great leader’s national holiday.

The King Center Imaging Project, a collaboration of The King Center and JPMorgan Chase started back in April of 2011 with one goal: to bring the writings and associated documents of King into the digital era.

Through the JPMorgan Chase’s Technology for Social Good program, a team of highly skilled individuals has been organized to help digitize more than 1 million documents. The team consists of imaging and archival experts, as well as students from Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, the King family’s alma maters and US Veterans from the US Veterans Curation Program.

The preservation team consisted of over 400 Chase staff members, students and volunteers who combed diligently through the documents which have been stored at the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Workers handled the documents in a laboratory setting, working in shifts of 25 people “each attending to each document,” according to USA Today.

And all of that meticulous work payed off in the form of a beautiful, easy to navigate archive full of all kinds of materials crucial to a full understanding of the iconic civil rights leader.

The documents are varied – from a telegram he sent to John F. Kennedy to a typewritten sermon he delivered in 1966 called “New Wine in Old Bottles.” Right next to his blue book exam for a Bible study course you can find a Christmas card he received from his wife.

And some documents with huge historical significance are also part of the collection. You can browse and even print a handwritten rough draft of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, along with a draft of his famous “I Have A Dream” speech complete with editing marks:

The archive “is helping to preserve and extend my father’s important message to sustain the momentum of non-violent social change around the world,” said King Center president Martin Luther King III. How have you celebrated MLK Day? Let us know in the comments.

Martin Luther King Jr. Digital Archive Goes Live
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