This month, Arizona State University added two significant, historical texts to its archive.
Under the guidance of Paul Carrese, director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, with funds allocated by the Arizona State Legislature and approved by the ASU President’s Office, the school purchased signed, first-edition copies of “Stride Toward Freedom,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1958 memoir of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and “Strength to Love,” a collection of his sermons published in 1963.
To evaluate the King books and advise on their purchase, Carrese enlisted the expertise of Lori McAllister, associate university librarian for collection services and analysis; Matt Delmont, director of the School of Historical, Political and Religious Studies; and Keith Miller, interim director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.
To Carrese and his team, as well as the Hayden librarians responsible for stewardship of the archive, the books are rare and valuable as historical objects, but they are most valuable when we engage with them. To that end, Carrese worked with library staff and Delmont to arrange a reception for the inaugural presentation of the books during the week commemorating Martin Luther King’s birthday.