Hands On History Workbook

Hands On History Workbook

Created by Alice Ingerson, 2007 appliedhistory@rcn.com

The Hands-On Newton History Workbook contains a series of worksheets that can be used to explore the documentary resources of the City of Newton, but could also be used generically for historical research and program development in other New England cities and towns.

The Hands-On History program was organized to educate museum volunteers and the interested public in doing local history research and possibly using their research as the basis for walking tours or other presentations as part of the museum’s programming. Participants were invited to research the story of a site, person, or organization using a variety of Newton resources and report back to the group, in order to foster group learning. Participants created time lines to help them evaluate their topics in the context of local development. They explored census and other demographic records, many of which are now on-line, along with city documents such as assessor’s records, building permits, water records, and deeds. A variety of primary and secondary print materials were also discussed and evaluated.

Also included in the Workbook was a section on Interpretation that identifies a number of “how to" resources particularly valuable for researchers in the New England area. Some on-line links may have changed, and others may have become available since this project was initiated two years ago.

Some participants chose to do family projects, while others did case studies that later evolved into walking tours given to the public. This broad-based program has the potential to create a cadre of knowledgeable volunteers to support museum programs and research initiatives.

Hands On History Worksheets:

Workshop Schedule and Homework

Workbook Table of Contents

Census Graphs


Chart of Local Sources

Maps and Atlases

Census and Demography

City Directories

Discover Historic Newton Brochures

Museum Subject Files

Published Histories

Historic Property Files

Historic Preservation in Newton

"How-To" Resources

Case Study: Crystal Lake

Neighborhood History Products

Walking Tour Tips

Publicity Tips