PROJECT: Rosa Parks Collection Now Online

In a post at the Library of Congress Blog, Erin Allen announced the online launch of the Rosa Parks Papers. The website includes nearly 2,500 digitized photographs, letters, and documents from the collection, which was opened to researchers in 2015. From the collection description:

The papers of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) span the years 1866-2006, with the bulk of the material dating from 1955 to 2000… The collection documents many aspects of Parks’s private life and public activism on behalf of civil rights for African Americans. ¬†Family papers include correspondence with her husband Raymond A. Parks; her mother, Leona Edwards McCauley; and her brother, Sylvester McCauley.¬† Correspondence with her husband and mother contains the largest number of letters written by Parks in the collection. Letters by Sylvester McCauley largely concern his efforts to convince his sister to move to Detroit.¬† Events surrounding Parks’s arrest in 1955 for disorderly conduct after she refused to give her seat to a white passenger, as well as the subsequent Montgomery Bus Boycott, are described in many of her writings, notes, and correspondence from 1955 to 1956. Other subjects covered in the collection include Parks’s work in Congressman John Conyers’s Detroit office; her participation in major civil rights events such as the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in 1957, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, Mississippi Freedom Project in 1964, and the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968; and Parks’s Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal along with material concerning other honors received by Parks.

…The vast majority of items in the Parks Collection have been digitized in their entirety and may be viewed in this online collection. Other material is available to researchers through the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs reading rooms. A small percentage (approximately 6 percent) of the manuscript items, consisting largely of newspapers, magazines, and other publications still under copyright along with some materials for which rights clearance is still pending, may be viewed onsite only at this time. Among the visual materials, all items were digitized except the children’s greeting cards for which a representative sample is included in this online collection.


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This post was produced through a cooperation between‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč ‚ÄčNathan Brown, Nickoal Eichmann, Alix Keener, Megan Martinsen, and Allison Ringness, (Editors-at-large for the week), Patrick Williams (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Caro Pinto and Roxanne Shirazi (dh+lib Review Editors).