Library of Congress Martin Luther King and Civil Rights Resources

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Kathy Dorr, one of NCCE’s Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Trainers, has put together a great resource list for teachers looking to find quality teaching resources around Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights Movement.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Songs of a Movement

“Music is a powerful tool. It can create an emotional response, a feeling, a certain attitude. Music can unite people, and give a voice when simple words fail. During the Civil Rights Movement, music played a vital role. Freedom songs drew from spirituals, gospel, rhythm and blues, football chants, blues and calypso and were sung by protesters, activists, civil rights leaders and music legends to spread the message of the movement.” Erin Allen (Erin Allen has been a writer-editor in the Library’s Public Affairs Office)

Civil Rights History Project


The Civil Rights History Project Collection contains 401 items consisting of video files, videocassettes, digital photographs and interview transcripts with activists that participated in the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s.

“The video recordings of their recollections cover a wide variety of topics within the civil rights movement, such as the influence of the labor movement, nonviolence and self-defense, religious faith, music, and the experiences of young activists. Actions and events discussed in the interviews include the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963), the Albany Movement (1961), the Freedom Rides (1961), the Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965), the Orangeburg Massacre (1968), sit-ins, voter registration drives in the South, and the murder of fourteen year old Emmett Till in 1955, a horrific event that galvanized many young people into joining the freedom movement.”

Links to Library of Congress Civil Rights Themed Resources

Links to Primary Source sets, Lesson plans, exhibits and presentations, and Collection Connections all focusing on Civil Rights.

Blog Links which include classroom activities and ideas:

For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Exploring Photographs of Civil Rights Movement Leaders

Honoring Our History through Artwork: Martin Luther King, Jr. in Library of Congress Primary Sources

Looking Behind the March on Washington: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, and Labor in Primary Sources