Mission: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute houses the King Papers Project, a long-term effort to publish the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. — the definitive edition of Dr. King's sermons, speeches, correspondence, writings, and other materials.
Background: In 2005, with a $1 million endowment pledge from NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and his All Stars Helping Kids organization and an endowment from the Mumford Family/Agape Foundation, Dr. Clayborne Carson founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University to provide a permanent financial base for the King Papers Project and a range of other educational activities. The institute's programs include completion of the definitive, multi-volume edition of the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.; publication of other books intended for general and scholarly audiences; The Liberation Curriculum educational initiative, which produces curriculum materials and lesson plans as well as conducts teacher development workshops; scholar/writer-in-residence program for invited experts; and King conferences and symposia as well as other public events designed to enhance understanding of King's life, ideas, and legacy.
Outstanding Web Features: The institute's website maintains the world's largest online archive of previously inaccessible King speeches, sermons, letters, and other documents. Beginning with the King Papers, visitors can view synopses of the King Paper volumes, take a look at featured documents, and search documents published in print (with new ones added frequently). The easiest way to search is through the Online King Records Access (OKRA) platform hosted on the site. From there, those who wish to pass along King's ideas can access the institute's Liberation Curriculum, which provides document-based lesson plans, online educational resources, and professional development workshops.
In addition to documents, the King Institute's resources provide access to thousands of photographs and publications about the modern African-American experience. Of note is the Martin Luther King, Jr.,Encyclopedia; published in January 2008 by the staff of the King Papers Project, it represents the institute's overall effort to provide educational resources for students, teachers, researchers, and interested readers of all ages. To that end, nearly three hundred entries cover all aspects of King's life, including family, friends, and associates in the movement; his participation in various campaigns and marches; and his relationship and affiliation with various organizations. Also included is the Freedom's Ring "I Have a Dream" Speech resource, which allows visitors to compare the written and spoken speech, explore multimedia images of the speech, listen to movement activists, and learn more about the speech's historical context. The site also makes available additional information about the institute itself as well as news and upcoming events.