MLK Docs Gathered Online

1/16/2012 King Center in the Press

(King Center note: original article misquoted the number of documents. please see note in our FAQ)

The revolution will be digitized: Thousands of documents by slain Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. became available online Monday.

Our Michael Sheridan reports:

The massive collection is part of The King Center Imaging Project, and is searchable at thekingcenter.org/archive.

The documents are presented in a collage, and are easily searchable. Among the assortment of hand-written missives, photos and typed letters is an undated note sent as a telegram to singer Sammy Davis Jr.

"Your Chicago concerts will in no way interfere with the movement," King wrote to the late performer. "In fact the cultural contradiction of your performances point up the ridiculousness of our racist opposition."

There is also a telegram dated March 30, 1962 and sent by King to President Kennedy. In it King urges that Judge William H. Hastie and Judge Thurgood Marshall would make great nominees for the Supreme Court.

"Both men are imminently qualified to fill vacancy," he wrote. "This is superb opportunity for the administration to reveal to the world its serious determination to make the Negro a full participant in every phase of American life."

Kennedy ultimately chose Judge Byron White. However, Marshall would later become a Supreme Court Judge in 1967 under President Lyndon Johnson, making him the first African-American to do so.

The individually scanned and categorized documents were digitized through a joint effort led by JP Morgan Chase, along with AT&T and EMC Corporation.

"People like Dr. Martin Luther King are what made America what it is today," said Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"Dr. King was a tireless champion of equality and inclusiveness," said John T. Stankey, President & CEO, AT&T Business Solutions.