Reference Services


The Reference Department offers research materials in print and access to a variety of online databases. For your convenience, the New Bedford Free Public Library has selected web sites for quick access to a large variety of information from this site.

The Reference Department responds to telephone (508) 991-6280 or (508) 991-6278, fax (508) 991-6368 or e-mail ( queries for ready reference information. For more extended research questions, we encourage patrons to visit the library where experienced professional librarians can assist you with your research needs.

The collection includes specialized research tools and finding aids produced in-house, e.g. vertical files, song index, Standard Times newspaper index, obituary index, etc.

We offer tours and orientations to classes and small groups by appointments.

U.S. Government Documents Depository Collection
The New Bedford Free Public Library, designated a federal depository in 1858, serves the government in information needs of the City of New Bedford, of the patrons of the Sails Library Network and of the Fourth Congressional District.

Many titles are available in electronic and microform format. Patrons are encouraged to consult with a reference librarian with their research needs for government information.

Special Collections: History Room and Art Room