Research Room Appointment - New Bedford Whaling Museum


Thank you for your interest in visiting the Research & Reading Room at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Open only by appointment
Thursday, 10-12; 1-4pm
Friday, 9-1pm


  • Appointments are required and must be made at least 2 weeks in advance.
  • Please read the instructions below, and then fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.
  • We cannot accommodate visits without an appointment.
  • During a scheduled visit, we cannot pull material from storage as needed. Please request all materials you wish to consult prior to your visit.
  • Researchers should consult our online catalogs, finding aids, and digital holdings to identify the available resources they wish to see in person. Record call numbers or catalog numbers for the request and list them in the form. (please note: hyperlinks to our online catalog do not work)
  • If you need assistance requesting material, please email
  • The Library will be closed from 12:00-1:00 on Thursdays and closes promptly at 1:00 on Fridays. Visitors will be asked to leave the building during that time.
  • Please do not plan to visit if you have not received an email from staff confirming your appointment.
  • Visitors should indicate their preferred dates for a visit on the form.
  • The Research & Reading Room is closed on major holidays and staff vacations.
  • Please bear in mind that some collections are restricted for research.

When visiting the Research & Reading Room, we ask that you follow these rules.

  • When you arrive at the front entrance, let the staff know you have an appointment in the Research & Reading Room.
  • All coats, backpacks, briefcases, large handbags, and umbrellas must be deposited in lockers at the front entrance to the museum.
  • No smoking, food or drink is allowed in the Reading & Research Room at any time.
  • Cell phones should be on silent or vibrate
  • Use of laptops is encouraged. Notes must be taken in pencil only.
  • We encourage you to bring your own laptop, tablet, phone, pencils and paper.
  • Photocopies may be requested and are at the discretion of staff. The rate is $0.25 per photocopy.
  • Digital photography of collections is permitted, but must be used for personal reference only.
  • Photographs taken for research cannot be reproduced without written permission of the Museum. See our Rights & Usage page for more information about image requests and licensing.
  • Collections will be retrieved and shared by museum staff. When handling objects, please follow these guidelines:
    • Hands must be washed before handling collections.
    • Do not stack books or collections materials on top of one another.
    • Do not lay open books or materials face down.
    • Use book supports, weights, or cradles to support the object, as provided and instructed by staff.
    • Do not bend paper materials, use post-it notes, or write on any collection materials.
    • Bookmarks will be provided to mark your progress in collection storage boxes.
    • Gloves may be required when handling certain materials. These will be provided by staff.
  • You will be asked to sign a form attesting to your understanding of and adherence to these rules when you arrive.

Reading Room Appointment Form


Appointment preference (date and time)

Please note research room availability is dependent on other scheduled appointments and staff availability
Select preferred time slot (choose all that apply)
Select preferred time slot (choose all that apply)