Manuscripts - New Bedford Whaling Museum


The NBWM Collections include objects across a broad range of categories: fine and decorative art, photography, folk art, domestic artifacts, objects that represent the history of technology and industry, manuscripts, rare books, maps and charts, Native and Indigenous material culture, clothing and textiles, and extensive personal, business, and financial records.

Including late 17th century property deeds and indentures through the various mercantile investments and business practices of the agents of whaling and merchant voyages, church records, architecture, personal papers of significant (and lesser known) people of the 19th century and industrial, banking, and modern whaling documentation extending well into the 20th century, the manuscript collection continues to serve and inform the scholarly community.

The manuscript collections consist of over 140 distinct collections, organized with finding aids including notes historical, and where applicable, biographical. The finding aids include the scope and content of the collections and in many cases have subject listings and other forms of indexing. Every Mss collection that has an Mss number has a finding aid, but not every finding aid has been posted on this webpage. Any missing manuscripts can be searched for in our collections database.