Historic Newton’s collecting activities support mission-based, interpretive themes that allow the staff to show that history happened and happens at the local level through the actions of ordinary citizens, and that local, Newton history is tied to “the broad context of American history.” Collecting occurs at both of our museums, the Jackson Homestead and Museum and the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds. If you are interested in making a donation to Historic Newton, email photos and a description of your donation to If you need further resources not available on the website, please fill out a Research Request Form.


Jackson Homestead and Museum Collecting Themes

  • Open Space: farms, orchards, parks, and recreation areas;
  • The Charles River: river-based industry and water-related recreation;
  • The Railroad: development of villages & businesses, suburban development;
  • Education: formal schools and informal organizations for both children and adults;
  • Communities: villages, organizations, groups, houses of worship, ethnic groups, civic life, and social life;
  • Commerce: businesses, the workforce, and consumerism;
  • Innovation: social and technological advances;
  • Architecture: style, materials, construction techniques, and design;
  • Suburban development & suburban living: proximity to Boston, transportation, the family & home, and domestic help;
  • Social change: civil rights, women’s rights, war demonstrations, gay rights;
  • The Abolition Movement: slavery, abolitionists, anti-slavery organizations, and the Underground Railroad.

Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds Collecting Themes

  • History of the Durant, Kenrick, and Dewing families and other occupants, with a strong emphasis on their eras of tenancy;
  • Late colonial architecture and building practices relating to the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds;
  • Changes in land use and the landscape of Nonantum/Farlow Hill as emblematic of changes in land use in New England and the US;
  • Archaeology of museum site;
  • Horticultural Revolution as experienced on this site and emblematic of the times and region;
  • Historic Preservation movement as experienced on this site and emblematic of the times and region;
  • Events leading to the American Revolution in the Boston area;
  • Role of women as related to the inhabitants of the property;
  • Slavery and abolition as related to the inhabitants of the property.