Application Instructions

This page provides a brief overview of the full application instructions. The criteria for inclusion in the Network to Freedom are meant to establish a certain level of legitimacy, accountability, and accuracy in telling the Underground Railroad story. They have been designed, however, to be inclusive and flexible to include as wide a range of elements as possible. Specific application recommendations are available based on which type of location you are applying for:

Application Pointers

  1. Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Regional Manager before and during the application process. They are not in a position to conduct research or write applications, but can provide technical assistance and guidance. Your Regional Manager can discuss the proposed site, facility or program to advise on which category to select and how to focus the application.
  2. Network to Freedom applications must: "speak for themselves" meaning the application contains sufficient information for the reader to understand the association with the Underground Railroad and why the application should be accepted. There should also be a verifiable connection to the Underground Railroad.
  3. There must be consent of the owner, manager or director of the location to be listed in the Network to Freedom. Public-owned properties must have consent by the site manager. A letter of consent from the property owner must accompany each application.


The standards for documentation and authenticity for applications must be balanced with inclusiveness, valuing both grass roots researchers and oral traditions.

General Information

The first set of general information questions in the Network to Freedom application.
The general information portion of the Network to Freedom application.

Answering General Information Questions

The image above shows the first page and set of general information questions on the application. The following are pointers for answering the highlighted questions in the image above.

Type (Pick One): ⬕ Site⬕ Facility ⬕Program

Please note that a separate application is required for each entity nominated. Choosing the correct category is an important question, especially when choosing between programs and facilities.

Name (Of What You Are Nominating):

In this section, use the historic name for a site. Do not use the name of an organization.

Street Address, City, State, Zip Code, Physical Boundaries of Site/ Facility

This address should reflect the location of the site or facility, not the mailing address of the owner. The owner information will be included in the next section.

Summary: Tell us in 200 words or less what is being nominated and how it is connected to the Underground Railroad

In this section, briefly describe the Underground Railroad association of the nominated entity. Do not describe the organization that operates a program or facility—describe the program or Underground Railroad collection itself. Focus on the most significant points and develop the details in the rest of the application.

The second page of general information questions in the Network to Freedom application.
A section of the second page of the general information section.

The highlighted image above shows only one table for contact information in the general information section. There are 5 tables in the application to include any owners, managers or application preparers.


Provide full contact information, including a contact name for organizations. This information is used to provide notice about the outcome of application review and to seek additional information or clarification.

Last updated: October 16, 2018