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King Center Imaging Project offers intimate look at MLK

The King Center Imaging Project Web site goes live with nearly 1 million documents relating to the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Nearly 1 million digitized documents and photos connected with the life of Martin Luther King Jr. became available today on The King Center Web site with the launch of The King Center Imaging Project.

Until now, the majority of this archive was accessible only to people who visited The King Center in person.

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at a press conference. Library of Congress

There are photos of King marching through the South with masses of people in his wake and others of him sitting pensively holding a child on his lap. The archive also contains tens of thousands of letters, speeches, essays, scribbled notes, and quotes.

"These pages will present a more dynamic view than is often seen of Dr. King's life and times," The King Center's website says. "Through these papers we see the United States of America at one of its most vulnerable, most honest and perhaps most human moments in history."

The King Center was founded in 1968 by King's widow, Coretta Scott King, as a way to continue King's teachings of nonviolence after the civil right leader's assassination. The King Center Imaging Project was initiated by JPMorgan Chase, through its Technology for Social Good program, with the goal to preserve and share all documents housed in The King Center in a tech-savvy and more accessible way.

Over the past nine months, 200 people worked on this project digitizing documents such as King's "I Have a Dream" speech, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," and his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. AT&T, EMC, and Microstrategies also helped with technological aspects of the project, such as cloud-enabled storage.

"Dr. King was a tireless champion of equality and inclusiveness," John T. Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, said in a statement. "We are proud and honored to contribute our technologies and know-how to bring his legacy to life for the digital, connected world of today and tomorrow."