Nearly 200,000 documents connected with the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. are part of a new online archive that will go live on Monday, the national holiday that honors the slain civil rights leader.

The huge effort is called the King Center Imaging Project. The documents, which can be seen here, include copies of original speeches, letters, telegrams, articles, photos, sermons, a court summons, meeting agendas and much more.

King’s draft of the speech he gave to accept the1964 Nobel Peace Price is there, in his own writing, with words crossed out, as is a typewritten draft of his “I Have a Dream” speech, with crossouts. The digitizing of these documents will make it much easier for researchers — and students studying King — to find original material.

For the past nine months, the documents were digitized by a team of about 200 people — including imaging and archival experts; students from Morehouse and Spelman colleges (the alma maters of King family members), Kennesaw State University and Emory University; civil rights scholars and many others.

The project was done jointly by the King Center and Morgan Chase & Co., which worked with AT&T Business Solutions and EMC Corporation.


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