New Bedford Whaling Museum

The New Bedford Whaling Museum ignites learning through explorations of art, history, science, and culture, rooted in the stories of people, the region, and an international seaport.


Anchored in the story of New Bedford’s whaling industry, the New Bedford Whaling Museum documents and shares the diverse stories of this vibrant maritime region and its people, both bygone and current. Historically, whaling was an essential economic driver for our port communities and also for a rapidly expanding and industrializing society. While there were many adverse social and environmental issues inherent in the industry, the wealth and economic capacity generated by whaling fueled the growth and diversity of the SouthCoast region.

Founded as part of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society in 1903, the Museum’s rich history reveals an intimate relationship with the communities it serves. Motivated by civic pride and a desire to preserve the artifacts and narratives of the region, the Museum was established by a deeply engaged group of citizens “to create and foster an interest in the history” of the area.

Today, the Museum plays a critical role as champions for whale preservation and guardians of our heritage and culture. Through our partnerships and our collection, the Museum stands as an institution for learning from, teaching about and reflecting on humans’ collective impact in our community. Our expanding reach as a cultural and scientific leader can been seen in our growing scholarship, research and increased presentations of fine art. 

As a compelling destination that anchors a national park and vibrant urban seaport, we encourage exploration of our region’s cultural, artistic, historic, and scientific contributions. A keeper of the region’s collective memory, the Museum preserves a communal story of the many who settled in the City that lit the world and of those who keep the light shining brightly today. From long before its colonial Quaker and Baptists settlement, right up to the modern day, the account of the Old Dartmouth region includes diverse stories; Native American cultures, abolitionists, immigrants, merchants and whalers, seamstresses and fishermen, artists and environmentalists. The New Bedford Whaling Museum boldly weaves many narratives together, inviting visitors to examine complex and sometime difficult topics that are shaped by our past, remain critical today and inform a sustainable future.

Services Provided

Internship Programs and Student Services

  • Internship Program (Specialty)
  • Student Marketing Projects (Specialty)
  • Student Research Projects (Specialty)
  • Student Training (Specialty)
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Education (Specialty)

Libraries and Research

  • Business Research Resources


  • Formal Mentoring Programs (Specialty)
Contact Information
Amanda McMullen
18 JohnnyCake Hill
New Bedford, MA 02740