King Archives Will Be Sold at Auction

Breaking News

After years of trying to sell the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s archives to a library or university, the King family will instead put them up for auction on June 30, Sotheby's announced Thursday.

The sale, expected to bring $15 million to $30 million, will take place exactly five months after the death of Coretta Scott King, Dr. King's widow, who was keenly interested in finding an institutional home for the papers.

The buyer will determine the future accessibility of the papers. Many were housed for years in the archives of the nonprofit King Center in Atlanta, but the papers considered the most interesting by scholars, including a trove of handwritten sermons, were found in Mrs. King's basement and have not been widely studied.

"I'm really on tenterhooks about it," said Taylor Branch, the author of a three-volume biography of Dr. King. "Because it'll wind up in a library or it'll wind up dispersed."

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Lillian Adelman - 6/12/2006

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has now become a commodity!! What else is there to say?