Public Programs: America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

Period of Performance

4/1/2012 - 3/31/2017

Funding Totals

$300,000.00 (approved)
$300,000.00 (awarded)

Souls Seeking Safety: Interpreting the Underground Railroad Experience in Indiana

FAIN: GI-50454-12

Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites (Indianapolis, IN 46204-2725)
David M. Buchanan (Project Director: August 2011 to present)

Implementation of a long-term multimedia exhibition and docent training at an Underground Railroad site covering Quaker abolitionist and Free Labor economic resistance to slavery as well as first-person stories of fugitive African Americans.

The Indiana State Museum Foundation seeks funding to support the opening of a permanent exhibition in the new visitor center at the Levi Coffin State Historic Site, and to expand and strengthen interpretation at the site. The Coffin House was the home of prominent anti-slavery activists Levi and Catharine Coffin from 1839-1847 and a center of Underground Railroad activity. It is one of the best documented Underground Railroad sites still in existence. The new visitor center and exhibition will increase visitor capacity threefold and add 2,875 square feet of interpretive space, allowing the site to feature the stories of individual freedom seekers and to present the local, regional and national context in which the Coffins worked. The resulting exhibition, "Souls Seeking Safety," will open in September 2014. We are requesting funds to help build the exhibition, enhance training for volunteer interpreters, conduct regional marketing, and develop programs.