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New Bedford Free Public Library


The New Bedford Free Public Library in New Bedford, MA, was established on July 20, 1852. This facility is a local history and genealogy library. The Art Room and Special Collection sections of the main library hold most of the material related to the Underground Railroad. Books, memoirs, newspapers, microfilms, letters, speeches, articles, essays, and manuscripts are included within the literature of the collection. These holdings, all recognized for containing materials of local and national significance, are used for research, exhibition, and educational purposes. The library collection also includes census records, city directories, town histories, immigration records and whalemen. Part of the African-American genealogy and history collection include information about Slaves in Massachusetts, Frederick Douglass, The Cuffe Family, The Gibson Family, The Civil War, African Methodist Episcopal Churches, and Neighborhoods.

The mission of the New Bedford Free Public Library is to provide materials and services to help people obtain information to meet their personal, educational, and professional needs, particular emphasis on youth reference, and technological services; serve as a repository for local history and art; and help attract visitors to the city by displaying historic items and art in an inviting and attractive setting.


Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 613 Pleasant St, New Bedford, 02740

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Stephen Fulchino

Location Type: Facility

People/Organizations Associated with the site: Civil War A.M.E. Church,Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society

Freedom Seekers: Harriet Jacobs,Henry Box Brown

UGRR Operatives: Edmund Kelly,Ezra Johnson,James Thompson,Leonard Andrew Grimes,Lewis Temple,Rev. William Jackson,Richard Johnson,Rodney French,William Jackson,William Still