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Two new online exhibits from the Newton History Museum

Posted December 22, 2008 08:16 AM

The Newton History Museum has launched two new online exhibits-- Hyphenated origins: Going Beyond the Labels and Seeking Freedom in 19th Century America-- available for your viewing pleasure. They can both be found at www.newtonhistorymuseum.org. Here are brief descriptions of the two:

Hyphenated-Origins: Going Beyond the Labels:

This exhibit, which was mounted at the Newton History Museum from February
2006 and through May 2008, was curated by seven high school students from
Newton whose families recently moved to the community. The exhibit explores
the past, present, and future of an ever-growing number of Newton residents
who have emigrated here. Between 1990 and 2000, the foreign-born population
of Newton increased by more than 40 percent, and as of 2000, more than
15,000 foreign-born people now call Newton home.

The exhibition’s curators were themselves the exhibition's subjects --
seven students from Newton's high schools, whose families have immigrated
to the United States. The young men and women who created this exhibit are
the future of our city and our nation. Through their stories they ask us
all to answer the question, "What makes us American?" They encourage us to
see beyond what they look like and hear beyond what they sound like. They
urge us to go beyond labels and to see people. The students planned,
designed, and created a full-scale exhibit that focused on their personal
life experiences. Their work interpreted the meaning of coming to another
country and forming an American identity while balancing a life between
cultures.

In the Web version of the exhibition, many of the student's captions for
their photos and annotations that they added to their display cases appear
in pop-up windows.

Seeking Freedom in 19th Century America:

Many people visit the Newton History Museum because they know the 1809
Jackson Homestead is a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. But the
story of the abolitionist Jackson family is only one of many compelling
accounts of freedom-seeking in nineteenth-century America.
This exhibition, an online version of the Seeking Freedom in Nineteenth-
Century America exhibit presented at the Newton History Museum in 2004-
2005, explores American slavery and anti-slavery activity through four
stories of individuals who sought their own freedom or assisted other in
gaining freedom.

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