Search - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Collections Search

Explore object, library, and photography records in the New Bedford Whaling Museum's online database.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum has been collecting historic artifacts, manuscripts, rare books, and photographs since 1903. Today, the collection comprises over one million items, with deep collections in costume & textiles, photography, fine and decorative arts, global material culture, rare books and manuscripts, and natural history. Over 80,000 object records are available online, organized into three sub-directories: Library, Photography, and Objects.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum strives to describe its collections in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in them. However, this online database is directly linked to the Museum’s collections management software and can sometimes include “legacy” cataloguing information that individuals may find harmful or offensive. Such language does not reflect the current values or mission of the institution. Staff are actively working to revise these descriptions, but some solutions require longer-term investment. If you encounter language that is harmful or materials that would benefit from a content warning, please contact

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

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