Click here for original press release posted June 2001.

[Hear Michigan Radio story, featured above. listen]

Kim Davis' Bio

Asst. Professor, Political Science

Education: Ph.D. student, Wayne State Univ.; M.P.A., Univ. of Mich.; M.A., Journalism, Univ. of Mich.; B.A., Univ. of Mich.

Affiliations: Amer. Political Science Assn., University of Michigan Alumni Assn.

Areas of expertise: Underground Railroad, Public policy, public administration, international affairs, urban affairs, politics of elections, health care policy, some international law



New research center is a place where technology meets history

A new center that applies 21st century technology to preserving Michigan's Underground Railroad history has opened at Adrian College.

The Sojourner Truth Technical Training Center was founded in November and is the first of its type in the country. Its purpose is to teach individuals how to use advanced technology to document the vast network of Underground Railroad sites, people and artifacts in Michigan and to provide worldwide access to this information.

A key component to the Center's program is the TERMINUS Underground Railroad Digital Archive-a powerful multimedia relational database developed by the Center to collect, retrieve and disseminate information on the various aspects of the Underground Railroad. TERMINUS is the most advanced database of its type and is expected to become the most comprehensive repository of Michigan Underground Railroad information in the country.

The Center's training program will allow researchers, historians and scholars to learn to digitize their Underground Railroad history to post it on the Internet through the TERMINUS Underground Railroad Digital Archive.

"The training center and the TERMINUS project will greatly impact how Underground Railroad history is preserved and studied in Michigan," program director and Adrian College professor Kim Davis said.

The Center will host its first training symposium Jan. 25-27 at Adrian College. The symposium, entitled "Preserving the Underground Railroad in Digital Space," will combine an introduction to the TERMINUS Project with intensive hand-on instruction on how to document the Underground Railroad through digital scanning, photography, databases and other technical services. Symposium speakers include Addie Richberg, director of the International Network to Freedom Association, and Vincent DeForest, special assistant to the director of the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. Registration is $175 and is limited to the first 20 people.

The Center carries on the freedom heritage of Adrian College and Lenawee County. The College was founded by abolitionist Asa Mahan in 1859. Additionally, the county was home to abolitionist champion Laura Haviland, and several Underground Railroad sites are located here.

"With its history and involvement in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad, Adrian College has a deep sense of commitment to the preservation of Michigan's role in the Underground Railroad story," Davis said.

The Sojourner Truth Technical Training Center is an innovative collaboration between Adrian College, the Sojourner Truth Institute of Battle Creek & Heritage Battle Creek Research Center, the Michigan Historical Center, International Network to Freedom Association, and Wayne State University's Civic Literacy Urban Agenda project. It is funded in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Humanities Council and The U.S. Department of Education.

For more information, call 517-264-3189.