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I discovered today that Sotheby's auctioned off Martin Luther King's personal library about a year and a half ago. Which means their must be a catalog somewhere. It's too late tonight and I need to get to bed, but if someone wants to do some digging before I can get to it, feel free.
Edit to add: The archives were bought and are supposedly housed at Morehouse College in Atlanta. But on college's website they only talk about his papers, not his books so I don't know what they did with them.
Wow. I just e-mailed Abby to see if anyone was doing a LT author on MLK. I will contact my library to see if they can provide any information on your question and get to you via I see dead people.
I got a lead. Morehouse College has books from the MLK's personal library. The college is sorting out what they have before they make it accessible to the public. Here is the link:
If the link does not work, look under Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection @ Robert W.Woodruff Library at Atlanta University Center.
Let me know where you want to go from here.
One other item. While Morehouse is working on what they have recieved a possible starting point is what Stanford has. Here is the link: http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/mlkpapers/
Awesome! I'm a bit busy at the moment... Spent the last couple weeks trying to recover a crashed hard drive and am now playing catch up. So I don't know how soon I could work on this. If anyone wants to get a jump on it, feel free.
If no one else offers, I will start it. I still want credit to go to moonradio for making the suggestion.
Hmmm... yes, I'm not finding any books listed at Stanford. Just documents.
This may have to wait until Morehouse is finished organizing.
From their site:
"On September 14, 2006, the Library confirmed receipt of 71 cartons from Sotheby’s in New York. In the succeeding weeks, staff attention turned to re-housing items in appropriate containers and placing them on archival shelving in a secure environmentally monitored vault. At present, the collection's re-housed items and approximately 1,000 books, periodicals and pamphlets comprise about 36 linear feet. That number is expected to increase, as the re-housing efforts continue today...The initial inventory and control process revealed that the collection had no consistent order, with evidence of repeated disarrangement over many years. As a result, in-depth processing planning, decision making and staff effort were required to bring about the best arrangement protocol...the team is re-housing items in appropriate and uniform alkaline boxes and folders, surveying the physical condition of collection materials that may need conservation treatment, sorting items into appropriate organizational structure (by subject and/or format) and preparing the finding aid and catalog records...The collection is expected to be open for research during fall 2008."
The books may have been listed in the Sotheby's catalog for the sale that was supposed to occur on 30 June 2006 ... the sale was pre-empted by the agreement with Morehouse, and the catalog doesn't seem to available on the Sotheby's website (there's a page for it, but I couldn't get a PDF version to load).
That was my original thought. But I couldn't find a copy of the catalog. I don't remember whether I found that pdf link, but it doesn't seem to work. They've probably pulled it. Since the collection was described as not having a "consistent order, with evidence of repeated disarrangement" I'm thinking that they just lumped a bunch of stuff together without detailing the contents. This seems more likely if you consider that Mrs. King was a pack rat and saved everything. The collection includes credit card receipts, exam blue books, and cosmetic containers.
In any case past Sotheby's catalogs are expensive. But if someone can find one and is willing to plunk down the money for it I won't say don't do it, but my expectations that there will be much useful info are slim.
I don't know what to do other than wait for Morehouse. I'm open to suggestions.
Yeah I agree, I think it's probably better to wait for Morehouse to get the books cataloged. Hopefully their timetable isn't too far off. If anyone finds a list in the meantime, we can go from there.
Looks like it's titles and authors only :(. The description of the collection mentions lots of marginalia, but none of that is cataloged here. Anyways, 1000-ish books belonging to MLK! Very very cool. Flash mob anyone?
Citation: Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection next hit at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc.
Looks like at least some of these are cataloged in their OPAC, so before folks add with just author/title, let's explore and see if we can get full records, first ...
Oh, let's do it!
JBD1, are you calling them? If you don't have time, I'll get someone here on it.
I can't do it today, but will have time early next week; if somebody else is more free today, go for it.
PS - Ugh their OPAC is terrible.
Their catalogue is searchable by the notes field with the keywords "Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection'. But it only brings up 436 titles, a difference from the approximate '1,000 books'. It doesn't look like everything on the list is there: searches for Dewey, an American of this Century, or Lo! The Poor Innocents for two examples come up empty, while The Apocrypha is there, but it's not marked as being from the collection in the notes field.
It looks like the following link, which gives 623 results, is pretty close to everything:
If that's stable, it may be the best thing to work from ... excluding a few post-MLK records at the very end ...
If we're going to use this as the source, I'd suggest we make a WorldCat list of these items and work from that rather than the search results. That way we can sort by title or author and people can more easily say what range of items they'll be working on. I'm happy to generate the WorldCat list and provide a link and/or PDF of it.
That's a great idea! Go for it, if you have time - would be excellent to work from that, so we can use pages, &c.
Once we get a list of segments, I want to come up with guidelines, and announce this as a project. Break it up into small pieces, so lots of people can help. I want to spread this.
Okay folks - so perhaps this is not the most elegant solution, but I've gotten the title list into an Excel document. It's shared in Google Drive, and you all should be able to view/download from this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2CGLiCD4Ad7dmk3djVFVzh0Vm8/view?usp=sharing
I discovered that OCLC caps lists at 500 items, and I can't lock the settings on how a list is sorted in their system, so working from those lists could possibly cause a whole heap of confusion. If you'd like, I can share the links to the lists in case you want to be able to check an item for more information.
I know a couple of the librarians at the Robert W. Woodruff Library. If someone from LT would like to contact one of them, they might be willing to share the MARC records. Leave a note for me on my profile and I can give you some contact details.
>25 cpirmann: - Many thanks! Do folks think this Excel file is workable? If so, I can make a wiki page and set up divisions for people to work from.
>26 lesmel: - We could do that, for sure, but that does remove the element of flash-mob fun :-) Normally I'm all in favor of ease of import, but for this folks may find it more interesting to work through the list. Thoughts?
If anyone would rather a PDF, here are two links (also sorted by title):
Part 1 (first 400 titles): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2CGLiCD4Ad7cG1xbUF2ZDZTMnc/view?usp=sharing
Part 2 (remaining 220+ titles): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2CGLiCD4Ad7ODhKR25DMThjRm8/view?usp=sharing
Personally, I like the idea of having a new legacy library but the manual entry is a chore. If MARC is available, use it and spend the manual input on other legacies without MARC support.
>28 cpirmann: Ah, handy - that at least lets us separate by page numbers. Thanks!
Okay, I propose we divide it up by page on the wiki, and people can claim pages. Write up some brief rules about how to do it. Then we announce it's open and let people help—try to get as many people to help as possible. LT will support with blog, FB, Twitter.
How does this sound?
To all coming from the blog post, &c. - welcome! Let us know if you have any questions or if we can clarify anything on the wiki page; we're happy to help!
JBD1 - just clarifying a note on the wiki page that source file 1 = items 1-400 and source file 2 = 401-end.
This is fun. Childhood's End! And some REALLY obscure Buddhist stuff—one was basically nowhere, until Cambridge had it.
>38 timspalding: - It is fun! Nice to work on one where not every title is like pulling teeth, too :-)
I'm hesitant to do one now—there are only 2 chunks left. Anyone itching to do one who hasn't yet?
I would like to do one if there are any pieces left. I started following Dr. King in 1960 when I entered Georgia Tech. I and others had a chance to read what I would call source documents from daily reports in the Atlanta Constitution written by Ralph McGill and Eugene Peterson, editor of the opinions page. Let me know, I can start today.
Ron Wright, email firstname.lastname@example.org
My library is MrKurtz
>42 LFUMC: Excellent! It looks like there are still two segments left to be claimed. Head over here to the wiki page: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr. for instructions, and don't forget to mark the segment(s) you're claiming! Let us know if you have any questions, of course.
I just finished the last open segment, there is one still left to be marked "Done," otherwise this project is complete.
Yeah, the estimable Amanda French has got it. So, done tomorrow, perhaps.
When it's done, let's talk about it.
>45 timspalding: I noticed evolution in the extended tagmash; rather than a book discussing creationism, or a mundane science book, it is the deeply weird Human Destiny by Pierre Lecomte du Noüy. I also saw To Pray or Not to Pray! A Handbook for Study of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and American Church-State Doctrine. I snagged a cheap copy off Amazon; we'll see Lowry's take on that.
>49 timspalding: - Looks great! I don't see any problems listed. I've removed a few of the weird post-MLK things that were in the records (but not in the author/title list, so I think they're safely omitted).
Okay, I've started a new topic for "what's interesting?"