New Google feature allows virtual tour of National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

CINCINNATI – People around the world can now virtually travel the path to freedom, including a journey on the Underground Railroad. Google Cultural Institute is giving visitors around the world a chance to take a detailed look inside the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Using Google Cultural Institute, virtual visitors can explore a slave pen from the early 1800s, recovered from a farm in Mason County, Kentucky, less than 60 miles from the Freedom Center. The structure was used as a holding pen by Kentucky slave trader, Captain John W. Anderson, to temporarily keep enslaved people before they were moved farther south for sale.

“The slave pen is a tangible reminder of the horrors of slavery and the conscious deprivation of a human being’s freedom,” says Clarence G. Newsome, PhD, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “While servitude may not have manifested itself in tight wooden quarters or cold metal shackles, the slave pen is a reminder of the captivity and shackles in its various forms that people around the world encounter, but also that it can be overcome.”

Google Cultural Institute allows you to zoom in on photos from the exhibit, allowing visitors to examine fine details in high resolution, such as “J.W. Anderson” branded on the structure, allowing researchers to conclusively establish ownership. Other items included in the exhibit are slave shackles, abolitionist pamphlets from 1835, newspaper illustrations depicting slave auctions and an advertisement announcing the sale of eight slaves in 1858. Also included are images of slave tags, worn by slaves during auctions that identified the wearer with a number and were stamped with the image of a whip and shackles.

“The Freedom Center exists to tell the stories of freedom’s heroes and inspire others who are striving for inclusive freedom, a struggle known to people all around the globe,” says Newsome. “By sharing these stories with wider audience we hope to remind them that though the path to freedom may be long, it leads to a destination where all persons may enjoy that basic right.”

The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community bring their arts, archives, heritage sites and other materials online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online and in doing so, expand access to it and preserve it for future generations.
“Our inclusion in the Google Cultural Institute helps the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center become an international center for freedom,” says Newsome.

To view the online exhibit featured on Google Cultural Institute visit: