Collections Search

The New Bedford Whaling Museum strives to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all information provided. This online database is directly linked to the Museum’s collections management software, updates to it are automatically reflected here.

This module is provided “as is” with the understanding that data is updated constantly. Please forward any comments or questions to

Database Search Tips

  • Use * to truncate and search forms of a word: Fish* = fish, fisheries, fishing, etc.
  • Use * at the beginning of a term as well for a wild card: *house = firehouse, wheelhouse, etc.
  • Enter words or phrases followed by AND, NOT, TO or OR grouped logically by parentheses: (A OR B) AND (C TO D) NOT E

The New Bedford Whaling Museum charges licensing fees for commercial use of materials provided. Some of our collections are currently covered by copyright law, and some are in the public domain.  If you have questions about licensing materials for commercial use please contact the Museum’s Photo Archive and/or download and submit our Permissions Application, or fill out this linked Google Form.

NEW: Search all three collections here.

Search Objects

Fine and decorative art; folk art; domestic artifacts, technology and industry artifacts; ethnographic materials, clothing and textiles, the world’s largest ship model.

Search Library

The library holdings consist of 18,000 published titles in ten languages documenting American and international whaling history, voyages and travels, exploration, natural and  local history.

Search Photographs

From daguerreotypes to digital, more than 200,000 original  images.