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Rosa Parks: Library of Congress to Display Icon's Letters, Photos, Notes

Image: Rosa Parks: Library of Congress to Display Icon's Letters, Photos, Notes
This file photo dated 1999 shows US civil rights heroine Rosa Parks. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 03:35 PM

A never-before-seen collection of Rosa Parks' letters, writings, and photographs will go on display at the Library of Congress starting Wednesday.

"I think it's one of the first times we're actually able to read her voice, and it just totally goes against this image of the quiet seamstress," Margaret McAleer, an archivist at the library, said, according to The Associated Press. "Her writings are phenomenally powerful."

The collection was kept from the public by a legal battle between Parks’ heirs and friends until philanthropist Howard Buffett bought all the items.

The collection includes 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photographs,  a handwritten note from Martin Luther King Jr., Parks’ Bible, and letters to her mother and husband, the AP noted.

It is on loan to the library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation.

"The Rosa Parks Collection is a very important acquisition for the Library of Congress. Mrs. Parks has inspired people worldwide through her contributions to civil rights and her work with children," Helena Zinkham, director of Collections and Services at the Library of Congress, said in a statement. "The library is the ideal steward for her papers, because people will be able to study Parks' writing and activities alongside the records of many other civil rights leaders and organizations."

Parks died in 2005 at age 92.

The collection will be open to researchers on Wednesday with a small portion of it on display from March 2 to March 30.

In one of the notes, Parks wrote about keeping vigil with her grandfather against members of the Ku Klux Klan in Pine Level, Alabama, The Washington Post reported.

“He would stay up to wait for [the Klansmen] to come to our house,” she wrote. “He kept his shotgun within hand reach at all times . . . The doors and windows were boarded and nailed tight from the inside. I stayed awake nights keeping vigil with grandpa.”

Twitter users seemed intrigued.




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A never-before-seen collection of Rosa Parks' letters, writings, and photographs will go on display at the Library of Congress starting Wednesday.
rosa parks, library of congress, archive
379
2015-35-03
Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 03:35 PM
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