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The Daily Genealogist: Digital Newton, Newton Free Library, Massachusetts

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Digital Newton, Newton Free Library, Massachusetts  

The City of Newton is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, just west of Boston. The Newton Free Library has made a number of historical resources available on its website through Digital Newton. The materials in the collection “reflect the civic life of and provide insight into Newton from the 19th through the early 20th century, a time when Newton was transforming from agriculture to industry and becoming a suburban Boston residential community.” The collection is a work in progress. More images will be added as funding allows. To view the resources, click on the menu bar tabs. Resources include:

Assessed Polls, Blue Books, and City Directories
This section contains three image collections which list the names and addresses of Newton’s citizens and businesses. The first consists of published lists of registered voters and their polling districts for most years between 1884 and 1942. The second collection comprises the Blue Books, lists “of the leading residents, societies, etc. with street directory and new map” for most years between 1892 and 1927. The third collection contains digitized Newton city directories for many years between 1868 and 1934.

Images of Historic Newton
To view photographs, click on the Images of Historic Newton tab and select a collection from the drop-down list. Sixteen image collections have been digitized and uploaded to the site. Subjects include various Newton villages (Waban, Auburndale, Newton Corner/Nonantum, etc), family albums, glass negative collections, and more.

Early Books
In the Early Book Collection you will find digitized offerings from the library’s manuscript collection. Among the items are the diary of twelve-year Esmond Rice; the journal of Edward Jackson, who traveled to California during the Gold Rush; the manuscript eventually published as The History of Newton, 1630-1880 by Samuel Francis Smith; a history of the Newton Fire Department; and the 1906–07 diary of Newton Mayor Edgar W. Warren; and others.

High School Year Books
This collection contains Newton High School yearbook photographs for 1885, 1890, 1895, and 1900. Names are not recorded for the 1885 and 1890 images, but do appear with the 1895 photographs. In addition to photographs of individual students graduating in 1900, there are also “group photographs, autobiographical questionnaires, letters and telegrams addressed to the class at the time of their 25th reunion.”

Historic Maps
The Historic Maps collection consists of six maps of Newton. There are maps of the city from 1908, 1912, 1913, and 1918, an 1878 map of Newton Centre, and a map of Newton Corner likely drawn up by Thomas B. Proctor around 1869.


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