Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version

Summer 2006

Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 28, Number 2, Summer 2006. ISSN 0196-7134


2006 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


In 1997 King Papers Project director Clayborne Carson obtained a substantial body of such materials. Mrs. Coretta Scott King granted the King Papers Project permission to examine papers kept in boxes in the basement of the home that became the King residence in 1965 and to identify items that were appropriate for the Project's mission. The most significant discovery resulting from this exploration was a private file of sermon materials King kept in his study. A battered cardboard box held over two hundred folders containing handwritten outlines, drafts, and prayers as well as academic papers, published articles, and correspondence. The heart of the collection was a trove of sermon notes, outlines, and full texts mainly from the years prior to 1956. Some were jotted on the lined paper that students use for their class notes; some were scribbled on the backs of letters and of travel itineraries; some were neatly typed and dated.