The Rochester NY public library, especially the Local History Division, (RPL-LHD), is a primary history agency for the greater Rochester NY community. RPL-LHD opened and provided a professionally researched and designed permanent online exhibit in September 2007 entitled, “Many Roads to Freedom”. Both the broad context and particular stories of local Underground Railroad actions are shown in digitized copies of primary source documents, period graphics, local newspapers which deal with the subject, and various items used for teaching document based questions in the NY state social studies curriculum. These include newspapers, speeches, abolitionist writings, songs, portraits, biographies, and a folio of abolitionist manuscript items. This online exhibit has been presented to numerous groups of teachers by the division's staff, and also it has been presented to statewide conventions of libraries, historical agencies, and archivists. The RPL-LHD is now recognized as a de facto history center for the region, especially with the online availability of these materials. Other materials regarding the Underground Railroad collections include manuscript items relating to Frederick Douglass’ life in Rochester, Frederick Douglass’ newspapers ( both in microfilm and digital format), microfilmed copies of his scrapbooks, and one of a kind images of underground railroad stops.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, 14604
Website: Many Roads to Freedom
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Patricia Uttaro
Location Type: Program
UGRR Operatives: Frederick Douglass