The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. Told Through Photo Scanning

Posted by Julie Morris on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 05:51 PM

Almost a million documents relating to the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. exist, each one adding another detail and piece to the legendary leader’s incredible story. This collection is completed with photographs depicting the extraordinary moments of his life, including those we’re familiar with thanks to preservation through photo scanning, such as the Million Man March and meeting other leaders such as President John F. Kennedy and Malcolm X. 

Each year, we can witness those moments again thanks to preservation of the photographs capturing these moments, made possible by photo scanning. In fact, people continue to find previously unreleased film footage and rarely seen photographs pertaining to Dr. King’s life. We’re able to connect to our past, and share sentiments of one person who, upon viewing a collection of some of the most famous photos of Dr. King, simply said, “I inevitably end up looking at (these) pictures again every year, and the power in this set of images never ceases to amaze me.” 

Powerful Images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Preserved Through Photo Scanning 

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, take a look at some of the most powerful photographs we’re able to view thanks to photo scanning.

Too often we look at photographs depicting historical events and fail to realize why and how we’re able to do so. Although we typically think of photo scanning as a way to organize, preserve and share our own journeys through life with friends and family, it actually plays a huge role in the preservation of our country’s history.

Thanks to careful handling of original print photographs, slides, negatives and videotape, and to photo scanning, we can look back at images like the following, which are just small reminders of how far we’ve come, and to always keep reaching for our dreams. 

March on Washington, 1963

photo scanning

In this photo, Dr. King looks out upon a sea of people who bore witness to the moving “I Have a Dream” speech. The march demanded an end to segregation in public schools and civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discrimination in the workplace among others. Over a quarter of a million people attended the event.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

photo scanning

Taken prior to a press conference after a Senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this photo depicts the first and only time the two Civil Rights leaders would ever meet. Although the two only met for one minute, the photograph capturing the two strong figures together is a fantastic example of how important photo preservation is. Additionally, it’s a reminder that even what may seem to be the simplest of photos should be preserved through photo scanning as every photo tells a piece of a story.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks: The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955

photo scanning

This important historical event was largely what turned King into a national figure and the most well-known voice of the civil rights movement. When Rosa Parks – then only 15 years old – refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, King led this landmark event which put an end to racial segregation on Montgomery city buses, and was ultimately a largely significant chapter in the Civil Rights movement, signaling the change that would eventually come.

Preserving Memories Through Photo Scanning

Without technology like photo scanning, we wouldn’t be able to re-visit some of the most important moments in history. At the instant a photo is taken, we may not realize its significance, and alone, it may not be as powerful. When collected together and viewed years later though, we’re honored with being able to feel the impact of past moments that have changed today.

What symbolic moments in your life do you have captured on film? Let us know in the comments below or send us a tweet @FotoBridge

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Photo Credit:, Wikipedia, Wikipedia  

Topics: memorable photographs

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