New Bedford Public Library Launches Online Obituary Index

New Bedford, Massachusetts – The New Bedford Public Library has launched an online index of obituaries published in the Standard-Times from 1968 through the present day. The library’s reference staff took advantage of reduced operating hours during the pandemic to meticulously scan and create digital copies of the library’s entire obituary index collection, available only in print.

The online index was created so that those with roots in the City of New Bedford could explore their family’s genealogy through research. “We are a city that cares deeply about family, community, and celebrating our family histories,” said Library Director Olivia Melo. “This is a great example of work done by library staff during the hours we were closed to the public. Even with the doors closed, our library staff continued to work on projects that benefit the community.”

The index is organized by last name and references the date and page number of the newspaper obituary. The index continues to be updated daily as librarians review the local newspaper’s obituary page and then update a spreadsheet with the information provided. The index will be used to find the exact location of the obituary in the newspaper. Anyone will be able to look up the obituary and have it converted to a digital format or microfilmed.

The obituary index can be found on the New Bedford Library website under the “Adult Services” tab. If those who wish to explore genealogy need help, the library has a subscription to the Ancestry Library Edition, and genealogy classes will be held starting in March.

Residents with questions or requests for assistance can email or call (508) 991-6278.