Morehouse College Secures Historic Papers of Civil Rights Activists Joseph and Evelyn Lowery

Civil rights leaders Joseph Lowery and wife Evelyn Lowery shown in their Atlanta home Sept. 13, 2013. Evelyn suffered a stroke five days later and died on September 26. (Credit: BRANT SANDERLIN /[email protected])

Thirteen years after securing the historic papers of Martin Luther King Jr., Morehouse College has scored another important trove that chronicles the civil rights movement.

On Wednesday, the college announced that the family of Joseph and Evelyn Lowery has donated their official and personal papers, photographs, documents, writings, speeches, notes, travel diaries and other mementos to the Atlanta historic Black college and university.

While the full extent of the collection isn’t known yet, it could be monumental. The Lowerys, who were married for 63 years, started several civil and human rights organizations and were each instrumental in several major initiatives.

“No discussion about civil rights in America will ever be complete without referencing the contributions of Joseph and Evelyn Lowery,” said Morehouse College President David A. Thomas.

Like the King Papers, the Lowery collection will be archived and curated at the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library to be used by scholars, researchers and students. The collection will be digitized to provide broader, online viewing access.

Cheryl Lowery, president and CEO of the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights, said an anonymous donor is financing the digitization of the papers.

Clark Atlanta University — home of the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights, which is marking its 20th anniversary — will have exhibition rights.

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SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ernie Suggs

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