"The individual must still use his own intellect and his own moral faculty, to decide for himself the path of his duty."

John Keep, "The Higher and Lower Law," Oberlin Evangelist, 1852


The goal of the Oberlin Sanctuary Project is to provide a forum for research, reflection, and discussion of what it means to be a sanctuary campus and community. We invite you to explore the five exhibits on view here.

The first phase of our project was an exhibit on display in the Academic Commons of the Mudd Center at Oberlin College during the 2017 Spring Semester. The exhibit “Pathway to Hope and Opportunity: Oberlin as Sanctuary” provided an opportunity for us to reflect on our history of helping others during uncertain times. The two stories featured in the exhibit, the Underground Railroad and the Japanese American students at Oberlin, illustrated the commitment by Oberlin to provide a safe place for all humankind to live, learn, and work. Other stories from Oberlin's history can be found here: The earliest years of Oberlin's founding as a community and college when the Lane Rebels were welcomed; the Carpenters for Christmas, who went to Mississippi to rebuild a Black church; and Oberlin College's role as sanctuary space for Kent State University students after the May 4, 1970 shootings.

The College Archives holdings include other stories of Oberlin students, faculty, graduates, and community members providing assistance and comfort for those in need. Please visit the Archives for more information concerning materials and collections related to Oberlin’s history of providing a safe haven or helping others.