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Photos, Oral Histories, Ephemera, and more from     

DC Public Library Special Collections     

 

About this collection

The DC Public Library’s Poor People's Campaign Collection includes correspondence, promotional materials, memorabilia, newspapers, and song books documenting the 1968 Poor People's Campaign and Resurrection City protest encampment on the National Mall. Notable documents in the collection include original newspapers and songbooks created by the residents of Resurrection city, documentation of actions by local Quakers on behalf of the campaign, and bumper stickers commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

 

The Poor People's Campaign was a civil rights movement initiated by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in spring 1968 to support the efforts of American poor people. The campaign lobbied for economic justice and vital social programs via an Economic Bill of Rights and organized a protest encampment of thousands of poor people on the National Mall, known as Resurrection City, beginning May 21, 1968. Resurrection City had its own university, "soul tent", city hall, and newspaper, two issues of which are included in the collection. The campaign effectively ended on June 24 when the camp was cleared by police following the expiration of SNCC's National Park Service permit. This was King's last major campaign as he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4.

 

The entire Poor People's Campaign collection has been digitized and is available here.

 

DC Public Library's accession of this collection predates provenance records, and thus its origins and are donor unknown. 

 

The materials in the collection were created by many different entities. When known, the creator and/or copyright holder of an item is noted but could not be identified for many of the items.

 

Learn more about the collection in its finding aid on the DCPL Special Collections webpage.

 

 

 
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