The recognition is the first of its kind for the National Park Service, and it is significant not only for UNCG, but for the broader community, region, and beyond. As a “virtual” stop, members of the public can access the thousands of resources within the Digital Library on American Slavery from the comfort of their homes, as opposed to visiting a physical marker, building, or monument.
James Hill, superintendent of the Guilford Courthouse National Memorial Park with the National Park Service, presented the honor to Chancellor Gilliam on Feb. 18.
Hill, formerly the midwest regional manager of the Network to Freedom Program, toured Jackson Library and spoke at length with University Libraries staff participating in the research project including Richard Cox, digital technology consultant and lead researcher for the project; Dr. Claire Heckel, People Not Property project coordinator; Dr. Brian Robinson, postdoctoral fellow in data curation for African American and African Studies; Erin Lawrimore, university archivist and associate professor; and Michael Crumpton, interim dean of University Libraries.
The Network to Freedom program is a catalyst for innovation, partnership, and scholarship that connects and shares the diverse legacy of the Underground Railroad across boundaries and generations. The program consists of locations with a verifiable connection to the Underground Railroad; educational and interpretive programs that pertain to the Underground Railroad; and research and educational facilities. There are currently over 600 locations across 40 states, plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Digital Library on American Slavery is an expanding resource compiling various independent online collections focused upon race and slavery in the American South. The library contains data contained relating to all 15 slave states and Washington, D.C., including detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders, and free people of color.
See the Digital Library on American Slavery at library.uncg.edu/slavery.