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Letter from birmingham jail martin luther king jrs work of art

The collection includes a very early draft of this speech, a four-page typed document with King's handwritten notes. Corbis hide caption toggle caption Corbis From history's vantage point, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. And they're about to go on the block. King in his Atlanta study. King's books are among the items that will be auctioned off by Sotheby's June 30.

The 7,000 item collection is on public display at Sotheby's galleries in New York June 21-29. Sotheby's hide caption toggle caption View Gallery Museums and libraries, groups and individuals are busy raising funds to acquire the collection, while Atlanta natives are concerned that a cornerstone of the city's culture is about to be chipped away. The collection goes on public display at Sotheby's New York galleries starting June 21.

It will be auctioned off on June 30. The King family has stipulated that the collection be sold as one block. It cannot be broken up while King's children are still alive.

Redden says the documents are ideal for display. Sotheby's tried to broker a sale for the King family, but some potential buyers -- such as the Library of Congress -- balked over price and stipulations.

Sotheby's to Auction Martin Luther King's Papers

The auction was announced this month and reaction was swift. Andrew Young, a King aide during the civil rights era, went on to serve as mayor of Atlanta and U. Ambassador to the United Nations. He wants the collection to stay in Atlanta. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that losing the collection would rob Atlanta of its heritage. But with the auction quickly approaching, Franklin is careful not to let on exactly what's being planned.

We think they are," she says. So mum is the word.

Access Check

The permanent home of the collection can expect plenty of visitors, especially since the King family has put limits on how much can be shown on the Internet or in catalogs. The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History, located on the street where King grew up and later rose to prominence as a young preacher, hopes to provide a home for the documents.

But the Auburn Avenue library doesn't have millions of dollars sitting around, so administrator Francine Henderson is making a lot of phone calls. How to quickly get it is a question that we are concerned about," says Henderson.

The library says it would offer a fitting legacy to King.