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Newton Talks is an oral history project for the city of Newton. In 2016, multiple city departments including Historic Newton, the Senior Center, and the Newton Free Library came together to begin documenting the experiences of veterans with a connection to Newton. In 2018, the project expanded to include the voices of immigrants and long-term residents of Newton.

All interviews are transcribed and added to the library’s catalog. Transcriptions are available online through the Internet Archive, and audio and images are available on Youtube.

Mission

To give voice to untold stories within our community, honor the experiences of our elders, and provide first person accounts of historical events for future generations.

 

Project Staff

Ilana Seidmann, Program Coordinator, Newton Senior Center

Elizabeth Lund, Outreach & Engagement Coordinator, Newton Senior Center

Clara Silverstein, Community Engagement Manager, Historic Newton

Sara Goldberg, Curator of Manuscripts & Photographs, Historic Newton

Lisa Dady, Director, Historic Newton

Matt Hendrick, Assistant Supervisor of Public Services, Newton Free Library

Debbie Knapp, Senior Library Assistant, Newton Free Library

Kathleen Hennrikus, Senior Library Assistant, Newton Free Library

 

Why oral history?

Oral histories are rich sources of personal connections to historical forces. They bring depth to one’s understanding of the past by exploring experiences and movements at an individual level.

These histories collect the voices of common everyday people, not just those who will also make it into history books. Saving their stories is important to future generations’ ability to look back and understand what was happening and what people’s lives were like during a specific time period.

Researchers rely on oral histories to write papers and books, but many people will listen simply to learn and connect. By using tools that are free to all, such as YouTube, Newton Talks will remain accessible to a global audience. Having such a wide audience can provide viewers with a different, more complex perspective on other people and events in history.

At a local level, Newton Talks provides a significant opportunity to connect and communicate with community members about topics that are not easily broached in everyday conversations. Interviews draw out and preserve untold stories from people in our own community.

 

How did Newton Talks get started?

Newton Talks was created in December 2015 after then-Mayor Setti Warren expressed interest in more inter-departmental projects in the city of Newton. Historic Newton, the Newton Free Library, and the Newton Senior Center worked together to develop the idea for the project, and the first interviews were conducted in March 2016.

Interviews were initially conducted in phases, beginning with veterans who had a connection to Newton, and then relatives of veterans, immigrants, and long-term residents of Newton. In 2019, the project expanded to include a wider range of voices.

Over the years, Newton Talks has fostered community partnerships across the city, including student groups at both Newton South and Newton North High Schools, local hospice providers, and Veterans Services.

In December 2016, Newton Talks applied for a preservation grant for Veterans Collections, Monuments and Memorials from the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB). Funding was awarded to the project in 2017, and allowed for transcription of veterans’ interviews, restoration of select interview files, long-term storage of interview materials, and the purchase of a state of the art audio recording kit.

Since 2019, over 50 interviews have been conducted, transcribed, and made available to the public through Newton Talks.

 

Thank you for your interest in participating in our Newton Talks program. This program is currently on hiatus and we will update this page when more information is available.

Interviews


Browse by Name
Last NameFirst NameDate Link to interview
AlterRobert9/17/19https://youtu.be/IbI2buYFaf8
AronsonRichard7/7/16https://youtu.be/cryARjdHqSo
BoudreauRose Marie6/6/19https://youtu.be/IbI2buYFaf8
BresloufJulius9/1/16https://youtu.be/6T3KBMthc3A
BrownManny5/3/16https://youtu.be/CwApaRI2tik
CarlsenCarl12/6/18https://youtu.be/FaLEAMyE8HQ
ChernoffPaul4/5/16https://youtu.be/aL4lAuIlmh0
ConneelyPatrick11/2/17https://youtu.be/ba9NHLXF71o
ConnellyMaureen3/1/18https://youtu.be/p-g906Vk6es
DiCarloMario9/7/16https://youtu.be/rTE1LXETccE
DiFoggioPeter3/2/17https://youtu.be/2geQd1jiKJQ
EllertsenRobert8/4/16https://youtu.be/fl9oVEyJcho
FlanaganJean6/7/18https://youtu.be/T19dbLG7o9A
GoodmanJune4/12/18https://youtu.be/hdtMvNdEV_Q
GumpertzWerner7/7/16https://youtu.be/DVPhZkaVQLs
HambroBruce2/1/18https://youtu.be/QihLlp_l-xI
HaywoodHoward & Karen4/12/18https://youtu.be/hANyVsQFl-8
HerrPhilip8/3/17https://youtu.be/ZTxiUxwioXg
HicksJohn5/3/16https://youtu.be/ymKR0EiDwxE
HuberDouglas1/5/17https://youtu.be/TedPzZOzaw0
IsenbergShirlee2/12/18https://youtu.be/4Y_BUlEYlIM
JonesHubie & Kathy4/4/19https://youtu.be/rDihRBsuFBs
KatzElyse10/6/16https://youtu.be/Mz5ms5dxEH4
KelsoPriscilla9/4/17https://youtu.be/nF9qfnFsyVo
KobrinAudrey6/13/19https://youtu.be/fChMJBTbKCo
LaliberteDon5/3/16https://youtu.be/57MF0N87Ujw
LebowitzRobert4/5/16https://youtu.be/Fr1rApJj6Rs
LipsittPaul6/1/17https://youtu.be/4MDk0V-rSiQ
McElaneyKevin6/2/16https://youtu.be/6XVNHJxsEE8
McTaggartLaura11/3/16https://youtu.be/FD7gxtguTLY
MillerMurray7/6/17https://youtu.be/ZmGTNQF4fTk
Morales-BarretoGisela5/4/17https://youtu.be/Zcw5A-ujiH0
NeumannPeter3/1/16https://youtu.be/tnyG1BWMbOQ
O’ConnorThomas8/4/16https://youtu.be/BcIZiu6tu2E
ParadHarvey4/6/17https://youtu.be/5SkdGY0Tsws
ParlinRobert4/11/19https://youtu.be/zaDWdpCRlKg
PiecuchAlfreda2/1/18https://youtu.be/qF8w7C_0qVs
Plaut MahoneyJulie9/10/19https://youtu.be/zSu_3G4QMDE
PriceJennifer8/29/19https://youtu.be/UXjtFjr09ZQ
PuzzangheroMaria4/20/17https://youtu.be/hSvl0BbW-5Q
ReadRobert10/4/18https://youtu.be/vyyUoth16JE
RivetzGeorge5/4/17https://youtu.be/ccCCqCzNQwo
SamuelsIvan2/2/17https://youtu.be/J3z95vtsZEA
SilvermanRichard3/1/16https://youtu.be/ntKA0K14rQI
SiporinJudith9/24/18https://youtu.be/KcUpicr6aVs
SoohoAlan3/13/17https://youtu.be/dRoSNrmuWEM
StarobinSam2/17/17https://youtu.be/pO8BDs8GqkE
StewartJohn5/3/18https://youtu.be/bcrIiJ-tWJo
StonerPhilip6/2/16https://youtu.be/PWeB_PIL6Vc
TalisArthur7/7/16https://youtu.be/0kDRgjEjECY
TarrDiane11/3/16https://youtu.be/rLpEhDFv6Pw
ThompsonIrwin3/2/17https://youtu.be/Awu3dhH_vLo​
TobinFrank9/1/16https://youtu.be/iYsd4B-JiXI
WangZeyang6/7/17https://youtu.be/0JGjdikWi94
WeiWilliam6/8/17https://youtu.be/9aab7zgG6mk
WhittenRobert10/6/16https://youtu.be/g-BFjdsjNjM
WuFa (Fred)4/6/17https://youtu.be/B2AQSJDPyNs
Veterans

* indicates that the individual served in more than one war/conflict

World War II

Last NameFirst NameDateLink to Interview
BrownManny5/3/16https://youtu.be/CwApaRI2tik
DiCarloMario9/7/16https://youtu.be/rTE1LXETccE
Di FoggioPeter3/2/17https://youtu.be/2geQd1jiKJQ
GumpertzWerner7/7/16https://youtu.be/DVPhZkaVQLs​
LipsittPaul6/1/17https://youtu.be/4MDk0V-rSiQ
ReadRobert10/4/18https://youtu.be/vyyUoth16JE
RivetzGeorge5/4/17https://youtu.be/ccCCqCzNQwo
SilvermanRichard3/1/16https://youtu.be/ntKA0K14rQI
Starobin*Samuel2/17/17https://youtu.be/pO8BDs8GqkE​
TalisArthur7/7/16https://youtu.be/0kDRgjEjECY

Korean War

Last NameFirst NameDateLink to Interview
AronsonRichard7/7/16https://youtu.be/cryARjdHqSo
BresloufJulius9/1/16https://youtu.be/6T3KBMthc3A
HerrPhilip8/3/17https://youtu.be/ZTxiUxwioXg
Hicks*John5/3/16https://youtu.be/ymKR0EiDwxE
SamuelsIvan2/2/17https://youtu.be/J3z95vtsZEA
Starobin*Samuel2/17/17https://youtu.be/pO8BDs8GqkE

Vietnam

Last NameFirst NameDateLink to Interview
ChernoffPaul4/5/16https://youtu.be/aL4lAuIlmh0
HuberDouglas1/5/17https://youtu.be/TedPzZOzaw0
LaLiberteDon5/3/16https://youtu.be/57MF0N87Ujw
LebowitzRobert4/5/16https://youtu.be/Fr1rApJj6Rs
McElaneyKevin6/2/16https://youtu.be/6XVNHJxsEE8
NeumannPeter3/1/16https://youtu.be/tnyG1BWMbOQ
O’ConnorThomas8/4/16https://youtu.be/BcIZiu6tu2E
Starobin*Samuel2/17/17https://youtu.be/pO8BDs8GqkE
StonerPhil6/2/16https://youtu.be/PWeB_PIL6Vc
TarrDiane11/3/16https://youtu.be/rLpEhDFv6Pw
ThompsonIrwin3/2/17https://youtu.be/Awu3dhH_vLo
TobinFrank9/1/16https://youtu.be/iYsd4B-JiXI
WhittenRobert10/6/16https://youtu.be/g-BFjdsjNjM

Other

Last NameFirst NameDate Name of war/conflictLink to Interview
Hicks*John5/3/16Cold Warhttps://youtu.be/ymKR0EiDwxE
McTaggartLaura11/3/16Gulf Warhttps://youtu.be/FD7gxtguTLY
ParadHarvey4/6/17Cold War – Department of Defensehttps://youtu.be/5SkdGY0Tsws
Immigrants
Last NameFirst NameCountry of OriginDateLink to Interview
ConneelyPatrickIreland11/2/17https://youtu.be/ba9NHLXF71o
KelsoPriscillaPhilippines9/4/17https://youtu.be/nF9qfnFsyVo
MillerMurrayCanada6/8/17https://youtu.be/ZmGTNQF4fTk
Morales-BarettoGiselaVenezuela5/4/17https://youtu.be/Zcw5A-ujiH0
PiecuchAlfredaPoland2/1/18https://youtu.be/qF8w7C_0qVs
PuzzangheroMariaItaly4/20/17https://youtu.be/hSvl0BbW-5Q
SoohoAlanChina3/13/17https://youtu.be/dRoSNrmuWEM
WangZeyangChina6/7/17https://youtu.be/0JGjdikWi94
WeiWilliamChina6/8/17https://youtu.be/9aab7zgG6mk
WuFa (Fred)Taiwan4/6/17https://youtu.be/B2AQSJDPyNs