A collection of Martin Luther King Jr.’s handwritten documents and books won’t be sold at auction and instead will be given to his alma mater, officials said Friday.
A coalition of business, individuals and philanthropic leaders led by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin bought the collection for an undisclosed amount, said Morehouse College President Walter Massey.
The personal papers of the civil rights leader had been scheduled to be auctioned off June 30 at Sotheby’s auction house in New York and were valued at $15 million to $30 million. Massey said the Atlanta group offered more than that.
Morehouse College will acquire the collection, Massey said.
Sotheby’s Vice Chairman David Redden confirmed that the auction will no longer take place, though the public exhibition of the collection will continue through Thursday, as scheduled.
“I can’t imagine a better home than the home of Dr. King for this collection,” Redden said. “It was there for years, it’s going to be there forever. I think that’s a marvelous conclusion to this extraordinary process. It guarantees that it will be looked after properly and made available to the public.”
Redden would not disclose the purchase price.