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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.