The principle guiding the transcribing and editing of these historical documents from the Montgomery bus boycott was to reproduce the original primary source faithfully and accurately, but in readable form. Errors in spelling and punctuation are corrected except when they reveal information about the document or its creator. Typographical errors are corrected. Strikeouts are generally deleted. Spelling of certain frequently used terms or abbreviations is standardized.
Original titles of documents are placed in quotation marks. Authors' insertions are placed in curly brackets. Editor's insertions are in italics and enclosed in square brackets. The editor has standardized em dashes, ellipses, left-hand salutation and closing of correspondence, and paragraph indentation. Neither letterhead nor return address on correspondence has been reproduced. Ellipses in brackets indicate editor's deletion of text.
Nearly all documents were in typed or printed form in the original, occasionally including handwritten additions. The abbreviation at the bottom of each document indicates the location (usually collection and repository) in which it was found.
The editor's narrative linkages, indicated by a rule in the left margin, introduce and connect the original materials.