Rosa Parks goes digital Mary Mundy, senior archives specialist, left, and Maricia Battle, curator, prints and photographs division, explain items in the Rosa Parks archive to members of the media during a media preview at the Library of Congress, Madison Building, in Washington. The archive is now online. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Rosa Parks goes digital
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Rosa Parks' archive of letters, writings, personal notes and photographs has been fully digitized by the Library of Congress. It is now available online.
 
The library has announced that the collection of 10,000 items belonging to Parks is available to the public.
 
Her collection was kept from the public for years. That is because of a legal battle between her heirs and friends. But in 2014, philanthropist Howard Buffett bought the collection and placed it on long-term loan at the national library.
 
The collection presents a more complex portrait of Parks, who is remembered for a single, iconic act of civil disobedience. Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. That act sparked a yearlong bus boycott that helped dismantle formal segregation.
 
Parks, who died in 2005 at 92, wrote of feeling lonely and lost as she lived through the struggle with segregation. After her arrest, Parks lost her job as a tailor at Montgomery's largest department store because of her activism. Her husband, Raymond, lost his job, too, and the couple sank into deep poverty. They moved to Detroit but continued to struggle.
 
She traveled with the NAACP, pressing for civil rights, and eventually landed a job at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Virginia, earning $3,700 a year. Not until 1965, when Parks was hired for the district office of Michigan Rep. John Conyers, did she finally earn a steady, living wage, archivists say.
 
The collection reveals Parks had an aggressive edge. She supported more radical actions seeking equality over the years, archivists said. She used her symbolic status to support Malcolm X, gatherings of Black Panthers and the Wilmington 10 in North Carolina.
 
The library now holds about 7,500 manuscript items and 2,500 photographs from Parks, including the Bible she kept in her pocket, letters from admirers and her Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How does this new digital archive promote Rosa Parks’ old old papers, letters and notes?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (16)
  • jacksonm-2-bar
    3/01/2016 - 11:00 p.m.

    with the library holding about 7,500 manuscript items and 2,500 photographs from Parks. The new online archive promoted rosa parks articles and notes so that anyone could see them not only just the people who are fortunate enough to go and see the library. I liked this article because I have always liked black history.

  • mayaw-6-bar
    3/02/2016 - 01:43 a.m.

    This new digital archive promotes Rosa Parks' extremely old papers, letters, and notes by letting the public see them. Stated in paragraph 2, it says,"The library has announced that the collection of 10,000 items belonging to Parks is available to the public." In paragraph 3, it also says,"Her collection was kept from the public for years. That is because of a legal battle between her heirs and friends." Since most people in America has access to the internet, then this means that they can have access to Rosa Parks' extremely old papers, letters, notes, and pictures. Rosa Parks is a well-known person, so she is looked up a lot, meaning when people look her up now they have access to her very old papers, letters,notes, and pictures. Therefore, new digital archive promotes Rosa Parks' extremely old papers, letters, notes and pictures because now everyone who has access to internet can view Rosa Parks' papers, letters, notes, and pictures. I found this article interesting because I did not know the public did not have access to all of her papers, notes, pictures, and letters. I chose this article because I did a play with Rosa Parks in it, and she has inspired me to stand up for what I believe in.

  • angelinat-3-bar
    3/02/2016 - 10:27 p.m.

    It promotes her old papers because many people, before, did not have access to them. Now many people can access them. We also, currently live in a digital age, and many people look to the internet when they need to read or look at something. The article says, "It is now available online." This shows that many people can now access it. I was interested in this article because I like to learn about history. I was not surprised by this article because I didn't know that this was an issue.

  • lillianh-obr
    3/03/2016 - 01:26 p.m.

    The new digital archive of old Rosa Parks' letters and notes help promote her. They help by sharing them with the public and teaching them about what she believes in, what she did and what she believes in.

  • genevieveb-6-bar
    3/03/2016 - 07:51 p.m.

    This new digital archive promotes Rosa Parks' old papers, letters, and notes by allowing these manuscripts to be open to the public. In the article's beginning, it proclaims that," The library [of Congress] has announced that the collection of 10,000 items belonging to Parks is available to the public. Her collection was kept from the public for years" (paragraphs 2-3). Since such a large amount of Parks' belongings are going to be able to be seen by the everyday person online for the first time, it is drawing publicity to both the digital archive and Rosa Parks' life.

    I found this article interesting because I have been interested in history for a very long time, and now more of our country's past can be shown to me through modern technology.

  • sofiat-4-bar
    3/03/2016 - 11:48 p.m.

    This new digital archive promote Rosa Parks’ old old papers, letters and notes by showing what she really went through and the struggles she went through. By creating the digital archive "The collection presents a more complex portrait of Parks, who is remembered for a single, iconic act of civil disobedience." I find it interesting that the family wanted to keep it, instead of letting the world see it.

  • adamp-3-bar
    3/04/2016 - 04:04 a.m.

    The new digital archive of Rosa Parks promotes old papers, photos, letters, and notes for many reasons. The number 1 reason for this is availability. It says in the article that,"Her collection was kept from the public for years." But now,"The library has announced that the collection of 10,000 items belonging to Parks is available to the public." Something being available to the public will obviously allow it to be a more popular idea. My opinion on this is it is amazing but, I'm shocked it has taken this long. I am disappointed the author called Malcolm x and the black panthers radical.

  • connorc-ver
    3/04/2016 - 01:26 p.m.

    This promotes the letters as a more realistic and more forceful tone.

  • tyshawng-wes
    3/07/2016 - 09:16 a.m.

    This new digital archive promote Rosa Parks "old old papers, letters and notes" by showing what she really went through and the struggles she went through. By creating the digital archive "The collection presents a more complex portrait of Parks, who is remembered for a single, iconic act of civil disobedience." I find it interesting that the family wanted to keep it, instead of letting the world see it and if you cant find one of her notes you could find it online.

  • caitlynk-2-bar
    3/07/2016 - 10:19 a.m.

    This new digital archive promotes Rosa Parks' old papers, letters and notes because today, our society is based on technology, and with this new way to learn more about Rosa Parks, people would be able to learn in a place they know well. With the learning device being our phones, computers, etc. people would want to learn more about Parks then to read a book. This article was interesting because it is good to know that even though our lives are based on technology that the historical figures that shaped our country will not be forgotten. This article surprised me because I didn't know much about Rosa Parks' at home life, and now I do.

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