Museums, Galleries and Collections
in Greater New Bedford
Greater New Bedford is home to a number of outstanding collections of art, artisanry, and historical items. The Whaling Museum, the largest museum in the country devoted to the history of
whaling, is known the world over for its collections of whaling artifacts, archives and other research resources, as well as its collections on the history of the New Bedford area. The New Bedford Fireman's Museum, located in the oldest, continuously working fire station in the country until 1979, houses beautifully restored fire trucks of bygone days, historic pieces of equipment, and mementos and records of the city's fire fighting history. The Textile Museum at Howland Place contains art and artifacts from the city's days as one of the world's leading textile manufacturing centers. The Schooner Ernestina, a living museum and National Historic Landmark, is the oldest surviving Grand Banks schooner and is renowned for its role in the Cape Verdean Packet Trade. The Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum is the best example of the "brave
houses and flowery gardens" of 19th Century New Bedford as described by Herman Melville in Moby Dick.
The New Bedford
The New Bedford Free Public Library is the second oldest public library in the United States. The library's Special Collections Department contains a great deal of historical material on New Bedford, including immigration lists and records, historical census data, and genealogical archives.The Casa da Saudade Branch of the Free Public Library contains one of the country's largest collections of Portuguese books, periodicals, and geneological materials. The award-winning Spinner Publications has an extensive collection of photographs, oral histories, and other written accounts of the people and culture of New Bedford and Southeastern Massachusetts from the mid-19th century to the present.
Greater New Bedford's art museums and galleries include the new New Bedford Art Museum, The UMASS Dartmouth Art Gallery, the collection of the Whaling Museum, Gallery X, the Bierstadt Gallery, the Nemasket Gallery, the Arthur Moniz Gallery, the Dartmouth Gallery, and a large collection of international folk art in the private collection of Reverend Richard and Jean Kellaway.