IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Big crowds greet end of King papers’ exhibition

An exhibit featuring the writings and documents of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. closed on Sunday after drawing record crowds, officials said.
Visitors at the Atlanta History Center get a final viewing of the exhibit of the Martin Luther King Jr. documents and books, on Sunday in Atlanta. The exhibit, on display since January, closes amid viewing by record crowds.
Visitors at the Atlanta History Center get a final viewing of the exhibit of the Martin Luther King Jr. documents and books, on Sunday in Atlanta. The exhibit, on display since January, closes amid viewing by record crowds. Gene Blythe / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

An exhibit featuring the writings and documents of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. closed on Sunday after drawing record crowds, officials said.

Another big turnout at the Atlanta History Center Sunday to the four-month exhibit on the city’s most famous native boosted the total attendance to about 65,000, museum officials said.

“By far, this is the most popular exhibit we’ve had,” said Sean Thorndike, vice president of operations for the center.

The “I Have A Dream: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection” exhibit gave the public a rare opportunity to see King’s original writings and sermons, many handwritten.

The exhibit — which included 550 documents, 127 books and many rare photographs — provided viewers the chance to go behind the scenes of some of King’s most famous sermons and speeches.

“So many people have been moved to tears. It’s one of those things that I guess is a spiritual experience as well as an educational experience,” Thorndike said.

The papers were stored for years in the basement of the home of King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, before the King family planned to sell them in New York through Sotheby’s auction house.

Before the auction, the papers were instead bought for $32 million by the city of Atlanta.

The full 10,000-piece collection will be stored at the civil rights leader’s alma mater, Morehouse College and the college’s Woodruff Library in Atlanta.

There are no announced plans for another public availability of the original documents.