Rosa Parks Archive Reveals Personal Mementos of an Icon

In late August, hundreds of items owned by civil rights icon Rosa Parks were sold to a foundation controlled by the son of billionaire Warren Buffet.

The Rosa Parks Collection at the Library of Congress will open formally to researchers on Feb. 4, on the birthday of the civil-rights icon. The collection contains approximately 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photographs. The Rosa Parks Collection is on loan to the Library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

The archive covers the full spectrum of Parks' life including her Presidential Medal of Freedom and many other awards, a postcard signed by Martin Luther King Jr., 19th century family photographs and other personal items such as her driver's license and handwritten letters.

In the image above, the home where Rosa Parks was born in Alabama.

"This is a massive body of material, consisting of in excess of 5,000 objects that really traced Mrs. Parks life in a way that you rarely find," Alan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auctioneers & Brokers, who oversaw the sale told NBC News.

In the image above, Rosa Parks and a friend in Detroit, 1947.

Photos of Rosa Parks in public life.

Parks poses for a front cover days after the bus incident. Parks' actions became a symbol of the civil rights movement after she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.

A postcard from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Rosa Parks.

Photos of Rosa Parks' family and ancestors.

In the image above, the note reads: "Highlander High School, Monteagle, Tennessee, December 1956. Mrs. Rosa L. Parks (l) Mrs. Septima P. Clark (c) and Ms. Leona E. McCauley, mother of Mrs. Parks."

James McCauley, Rosa Parks' father.

Rosa Parks' family Bible with genealogy page.

Bill Clinton presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rosa Parks in September 1996.

A selection of Rosa Parks' political buttons.

Rosa Parks, 1956.

The dress Rosa Parks wore to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

Rosa Parks' Congressional Gold Medal.

Rosa Parks with Pope John Paul II.

Children's cards sent to Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks at work, Office of Congressman John Conyers, 1985. Parks worked for Conyers from 1965 to the late 80s.