Established in 1852, the New Bedford Free Public Library is among the earliest free municipal libraries in the United States, formed under an act of the Massachusetts legislature giving authority to Towns and Cities to establish Free Libraries for the use of the inhabitants. The new library's early holdings contained books, periodicals, pamphlets and other property purchased from the New-Bedford Social Library (1806-1852), which had acquired the collections of the Encyclopedia Society, the Bedford Library Society, the New Bedford Athenaeum and the New-Bedford Lyceum.

The art collection is on public view at the Main Library and also showcased in City Gallery exhibits at the New Bedford Art Museum.

For more information about the Special Collections Department, see //

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New Bedford Free Public Library

(508) 991-6275

613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA 02740

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A statewide collection of 24 diverse works of art, from oil paintings to taxidermy frogs…

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