The collection consists of the papers of Vincent Harding from 1952-1998. The papers document Harding's work with the Mennonite Church, Spelman College, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center; the Institute of the Black World, and include subject files, writings, printed materials and personal papers. The bulk of the collection includes papers from Harding's years in Atlanta, Georgia (1966-1974). The largest part of the collection consists of papers of The Institute of the Black World (1968-1974), which Harding directed from its inception as a component of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center (1969) through its early years as an independent organization (1970-1974). Included in the papers of the Institute is correspondence, including general correspondence (1968-1974) and a large number of inter-office and committee memoranda. These papers also include files documenting Harding's teaching career at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia (1966-1969), his tenure as the first director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center and the Library Documentation Project at the Center from 1968-1970 and his work with the Mennonite Church from 1968-1970. There are also extensive files of printed materials in various formats indicating a wide interest in a variety of topics. In the subject files there is evidence of his commitment to establishing programs relating to African American curricula in colleges and universities (1960s). There is also evidence of his interest and participation in many national efforts and organizations relating to African American causes. The writings in the Harding papers include drafts of many of Harding's articles and speeches as well as the typescript of his dissertation on Lyman Beecher (1965). Harding kept voluminous notes, outlines and lists on various aspects of his work, and many of those notes are included. He also kept typescripts, photocopies, and reprints of the works of large numbers of individuals, and those materials are also present.