Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection: Subseries 1.1: Correspondence: General L-R
Scope and Contents of the Subseries
The subseries contains correspondence between Martin Luther King, Jr. and various individuals and organizations from 1950 to 1968. There are letters, telegrams, greeting cards, carbon copies, postcards, invitations, and hate mail. The correspondence is primarily professional often accompanied by enclosures, with few personal letters. Among the topics discussed are civil rights, discrimination, SCLC activities, politics, equal employment, education, housing, passive resistance, poverty, religion, riots, voter registration, the Vietnam War, and other social issues. There are also requests for speeches, information, visits, assistance, critiques of other writers, autographs, reprints of his work, and other invitations. Some letters praise King’s activities, offer encouragement, convey donations, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize while others are critical of his positions or overtly hostile. In the outgoing correspondence, there are both carbon copies and handwritten drafts of letter from King and his secretaries. The subjects discussed in these communications include thanks for contributions, responses to requests, non-violence, status of the movement, fundraising appeals, his stance on the war in Vietnam, and personal messages.
Within this portion of the subseries, there is correspondence with civil rights leaders, academics, and prominent politicians. Correspondents include Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin E. Mays, Floyd B. McKissick, James Meredith, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Daniel P. Moynihan, President Richard M. Nixon, William Stuart Nelson, Adam Clayton Powell, A. Philip Randolph, Jackie Robinson, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Bayard Rustin. These papers discuss Dr. King’s work, discrimination, the civil rights movement, government policies, and the activities of various organizations. In addition, there is correspondence with literary agent Maria F. Rodell and editor Hermine Popper about King’s early books.
Many of the items in this subseries have annotations written on them, presumably by King’s secretaries. There are terms indicating the topic of the correspondence, stamps indicating the date of receipt, directions on how to respond, shorthand passages, underlining, circles, check marks, and numbers. These annotations are written in an unknown hand unless otherwise noted in the item description. There are some instances where King himself wrote instructions on the letters and they are described accordingly. In addition, notes about a letter’s content were occasional attached by the staff as well.
- Creation: 1950-1968
Language of Materials
Materials are in English,French, German, and Spanish.
Restrictions on Access
Access is restricted to digital surrogates available in Archives and Special Collections Department of the Robert W. Woodruff Library.
Restrictions on Use
All documents in this collection either are protected by copyright or are the property Morehouse College, and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. Permission to consult the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection does not automatically include permission to publish from the Collection. Permission to publish or quote from previously unpublished materials or from materials under copyright must first be obtained from the copyright holder. Requests for permission to publish any of Dr. King’s copyrighted speeches, sermons, books or other writings, in whole or in part, shall be addressed to Intellectual Properties Management, Inc., 449 Auburn Ave., Atlanta, Georgia, 30312.
8.5 Linear feet
Arrangement of the Subseries
The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
Because of the large size of this subseries, it is described in four separate sections: A-D; E-K; L-R; and S-Z.
Photographs separated to appropriate housing in Series 13: Photographs and Series 14: Artwork.
- African American Baptists
- African American press
- African American student movements
- African Americans -- Economic conditions
- African Americans -- Housing
- African Americans -- Politics and government
- African Americans -- Segregation
- African Americans--Civil rights
- African Americans--Education
- African Americans--Religion
- African Americans--Social conditions
- Black power
- Communism--United States.
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968--Correspondence.
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968--Oratory.
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968--Public appearances.
- Nobel Prizes
- Passive resistance.
- Poor People’s Campaign.
- Race discrimination
- Race relations
- Vietnam War (1961-1975)
- Voter registration
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 (Person)
- McDonald, Dora E., 1925-2007 (Person)
- King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006 (Person)
- Levison, Stanley D., 1912-1979 (Person)
- Lewis, John, 1940-2020 (Person)
- Lowery, Joseph E. (Person)
- Mays, Benjamin E. (Benjamin Elijah), 1894-1984 (Person)
- Elijah Muhammad, 1897-1975 (Person)
- Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 (Person)
- Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr., 1908-1972 (Person)
- Randolph, A. Philip (Asa Philip), 1889-1979 (Person)
- Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962 (Person)
- Rustin, Bayard, 1912-1987 (Person)
- Rutherford, William (Person)
- Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Organization)
- AFL-CIO (Organization)
- American Friends Service Committee (Organization)
- Congress of Racial Equality (Organization)
- Harper & Row, Publishers (Organization)
- International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (Organization)
- Lovett School (Organization)
- Morehouse College (Atlanta, Ga.) (Organization)
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Organization)
- National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America (Organization)
- Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (Organization)
- Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.) (Organization)
- United States Civil Service Commission (Organization)
- United States. Congress. House (Organization)
- United States. Congress. Senate (Organization)
- United States. Office of the Vice President (Organization)
- Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
- Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, Subseries 1.1: Correspondence: General L-R
- Finding aid prepared by Bridget T. Lerette
- 2009 February
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.