Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Volume I: Called to Serve, January 1929-June 1951

The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume I: Called to Serve, January 1929-June 1951 went beyond the existing biographies by locating King’s family roots within the African American social gospel tradition. While previous biographers had devoted only a few paragraphs to the civil rights activism of King’s father and grandfather, the introductory essay and calendar of documents for Volume I amply document his family’s tradition of activism. That volume also focused attention on the young King’s letters to his parents (previously unavailable to researchers), his fledgling public speeches and statements, and his student papers from Crozer Theological Seminary.

Introduction    |   Contents    |    Chronology    |    Ordering Info
Volume 2
Volume II: Rediscovering Precious Values, July 1951-November 1955

Volume II: Rediscovering Precious Values, September 1951-November 1955 made a wealth of previously unavailable documentary materials accessible to researchers, including the text of King’s first recorded sermon, delivered in 1954 while he was still a student at Boston University. The most widely publicized finding of this volume was the discovery, during annotation research, of extensive plagiaries in King’s dissertation and his other academic papers. Although the additional research necessitated by the plagiarism discovery delayed the publication of the volume, the Project’s handling of this controversial issue was widely praised.

Introduction    |   Contents    |    Chronology    |    Ordering Info
Volume 2
Volume III: Birth of a New Age, December 1955-December 1956

Volume III: Birth of a New Age, December 1955-December 1956 is the most comprehensive account yet published of King’s leadership of the Montgomery bus boycott movement. Birth of a New Age marked the first publication of the complete text of a recorded version of King’s remarkable speech on the initial night of the boycott. Also included in the volume is the full text of King’s testimony at his trial following his arrest for participation in the bus boycott, and texts of his most significant speeches and writings during his emergence as a major protest leader.

Introduction    |   Contents    |    Chronology    |    Ordering Info
Volume 4
Volume IV: Symbol of the Movement, January 1957-December 1958

Volume IV: Symbol of a Movement, January 1957-December 1958 , published in 2000, documents the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and traces King’s rise to national and international prominence as a civil rights leader. Highlights of the volume include audio transcriptions of “Give Us the Ballot,” King’s historic address at the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C., and “The Birth of a New Nation,” a sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church that chronicled King’s historic eyewitness account of the Ghanaian independence ceremonies in March 1957. King’s increasing importance as a human rights leader is reflected in correspondence related to his conferences with Vice President Richard M. Nixon (June 1957) and President Dwight D. Eisenhower (June 1958), a letter from Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana (January 1957), and in documents related to his support of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the nation’s first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

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Volume V: Threshold of a New Decade, January 1959-December 1960

Volume V: Threshold of a New Decade, January 1959-December 1960 follows the narrative of Volume IV by documenting King’s landmark month-long trip to India in 1959; his move to Atlanta in early 1960 to become co-pastor of his father’s Ebenezer Baptist Church; his complex relations with student activists in the sit-in movement of 1960; his acquittal in May 1960 on tax evasion charges; his arrest in October 1960 at an Atlanta sit-in, and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy’s subsequent involvement in his release from jail.

Introduction    |   Contents   |    Chronology    |    Ordering Info

Volume 5
Volume VI: Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948 – March 1963

Volume VI: Advocate of the Social Gospel, 1948-1963 departs from the overall chronological arrangement of the edition to accommodate the acquisition of King’s personal sermon file. King’s early religious writings, along with other previously unpublished homiletic materials, shed light on his development as a minister before his rise to international acclaim. For the first time scholars are able to trace the evolution of King’s sermons back to rough drafts and original source materials. This volume also includes transcriptions of King’s most famous sermons and offers insight into the origin, drafting, and editing of King’s 1963 book of sermons, Strength to Love.

Introduction    |   Contents    |    Chronology    |    Ordering Info
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