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Digital Newton

Newton Talks, an Oral History Project for the City of Newton

Newton Talks is an oral history project for the city of Newton that began in December 2015.  The purpose of this project is to collect and share the stories and experiences of Newtonians.  In 2016 the project conducted its first phase: interviewing veterans with a connection to Newton.  Currently the interviews are being conducted with veterans, relatives of veterans (household members & immediate family), and immigrants in Newton.

The Newton Talks oral history project is made possible through the joint efforts of Historic Newton, Newton Free Library, Newton Senior Center, and Crossing Generations (a Newton South student group focused on inter-generational programming), as well as a few other community groups. 

Interviews can be viewed as a playlist on youtube.  Collected photos of and from our participants can be viewed here.  More information can be found on the Newton Talks libguide, and in the library's catalog

Voice of Women

Voice of Women (VOW) was a Newton-based nuclear disarmament organization formed in 1960 which continued through the Vietnam War and beyond. Its members conducted teach-ins, sit-ins and protest demonstrations in Newton and the Boston area. It ran the Peace Boutique, which sold peace paraphernalia, then became a craft and gift shop and meeting place for peace supporters. Even after the peak of activity in the 1960s and 1970s the women continued their involvement in peace, civil rights, and protest against atmospheric nuclear testing. Around 2000 an effort was made by the Newton2000 History Committee, the City of Newton Women's Commission and VOW members to collect oral history about the women in the organization. This collection includes videotaped interviews of members and an introductory history of the movement. It also includes papers related to the VOW Oral History Project-programs honoring VOW members, fundraising sources, publicity covering the renewed interest in Newton's historical involvement in peace activism and the role of women. 

Interviews were made with the help of oral historian and videographer Ann Smith. The collection has been digitized and interviews can be viewed as a playlist on youtube.  More information can be found in as a collection in Special Collections at the library.

A History of Trades and Craftspersons in Newton

This oral history project began in 1981 with the stated purpose of to recording Newton's social history village by village by giving interviewees an occasion to relate their personal experiences. Interviews cover memories of the 1920s through 1950s in Newton. The project involved collaboration between Newton Free Library, Jackson Homestead, and Boston College throughout the eighties. Interviews were originally recorded on cassettes, and have since been digitized.  Interviews can be viewed as a playlist on youtube.  More information can be found in Special Collections at the library. A record for each interview can be viewed in the library's catalog