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Martin Luther King Jr.’s visits to Princeton

Dear Mr. Mudd,
What types of materials do you have concerning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

The Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library’s Princeton University Archives and the Public Policy Papers each have a great deal of material regarding Dr. King, his visits to Princeton University, and his civil rights legacy.
MLK_webKing with Assistant Dean of the Chapel Reimers on the steps of Chancellor Green, March 1960. Also pictured: top right: Tom Garrett ’61, top middle: Jerry H. Shattuck ’61, top left: Daniel H. Jackson ‘1961, bottom right: John N. McConnel Jr. ’61. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series, box MP4

First, the Public Policy Papers contain information concerning King’s civil rights and organizing activities in the David Lawrence Papers, John Marshall Harlan Papers, Robert K. Massie Papers, George McGovern Papers, David E. Lilienthal Papers, Law Students Civil Rights Research Council Records, and in the Subject Files, Project Files, and Audiovisual materials series of the American Civil Liberties Union Records.

Secondly, the University Archives have substantial information concerning King’s 1960 and 1962 visits as part of the Student Christian Association’s Biennial Religious Conference, as well as a cancelled 1958 sermon. The University Archives collections also contain materials that document the University’s annual observations of the civil rights leader’s legacy. In addition, Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King received an honorary degree in 1970, information about which can also be found at Mudd.


Martin Luther King Jr. at dinner following his 1960 sermon at the University Chapel. Historical Photograph Collection: Individuals Series, box MP4

Clippings, correspondence, and more about King’s visits to campus can also be found in the Larry Dupraz Daily Princetonian Digital Archive, the Robert Goheen Series of the Office of the President Records (box 193), and the Historical Subject Files. Photographs of Dr. King’s visit can be found in the Individuals Series of the Historical Photograph Collection. Another notable resource was Gregg Lange’s Princeton Alumni Weekly reflection on the 1960 sermon.

Information about Rev. King’s legacy on campus and the Princeton University community’s observance of it can be found in the following collections:
Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding Records
Historical Audiovisual Collection
Historical Subject Files
Larry Dupraz Daily Princetonian Digital Archive
Office of Communications Records
Office of the Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel Records
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Records

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dean of the Chapel Ernest Gordon shaking hands, 1960.
Historical Photograph Collection:
Individuals Series
Information about Coretta Scott King’s honorary degree can be found in the Honorary Degree Records, with a photograph of her and the other 1970 honorees found in the Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series . From the Public Policy Papers, information related to her role as a civil rights leader can be found in the Franklin Book Programs Records and the American Civil Liberties Union Records: Organizational Matters Series.
To learn more about any of these resources, please feel free to contact or visit the Mudd Manuscript Library.

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