National Historical Publications & Records Commission

The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stanford University

Additional information:

A comprehensive edition of the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 –1968) clergyman, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962, and organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. This edition of speeches, sermons, correspondence, and other papers of America’s foremost leader of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The project was initiated by the King Center in Atlanta before moving to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford.

Seven completed volumes of a planned 14-volume edition

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Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses the crowd at the Civil Rights March, August 28, 1963. National Archives.


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