ATLANTA - The family of Martin Luther King Jr. claims ownership of a collection of his papers that has come to light in Atlanta.
The papers, about 25 documents that appear to date from the early and mid-1960s, were stored for 40 years by a friend of the civil rights leader. She said she got them from WERD, a radio station that shared office space with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Gallery 63 in Atlanta is to auction the papers, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The documents, which include notes, letters and typed speeches, have not been authenticated.
"These papers are Library of Congress stuff," Paul Brown, the gallery owner, said. "They need to be archived in a museum, in a moisture- and light-controlled environment. Ideally, I would like to see them go to a museum, where they can be shared. But I have no control over who the high bidder will be or how much they will offer."
But the King family is trying to stop the sale. King's children argue that all his papers belonged to his estate, which recently sold a large collection of his papers to the city of Atlanta.
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