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New Bedford Institute of Technology, Board of Trustees meeting minutes

Identifier:  URC-001

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 15 ledger-sized bound volumes and one 3-ring binder of meeting minutes, arranged chronologically. The last volume is an index, which consists of a chronological list of major topics discussed in the minutes.


  • 1895-1964


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is public record and unrestricted.

Biographical / Historical

In 1895 the Honorable Samuel Ross, member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Court and a prominent New Bedford resident, helped sponsor a bill that authorized the creation of three state textile schools in Massachusetts, in the cities of New Bedford, Fall River and Lowell. The result was the establishment, over the next 9 years, of Bradford Durfee Textile School in Fall River (1904), the New Bedford Textile School (1899), and the Lowell Textile School (1895). The New Bedford Textile School was charted in 1895 to provide “instruction in the theory and practical art of textile and kindred branches of industry.’ The first building was completed in 1899 at 1213 Purchase Street in downtown New Bedford. The city of New Bedford matched construction funds with those provided by the state. Classroom instruction emphasized both the theory and practice of all phases of manufacturing, finishing and distribution of textiles, and was intended to refine the skills of local mill workers by offering both day and evening classes. At the time the school opened, textile workers were being imported from England to handle the more skilled jobs within the industry and the school was seen as a way of correcting this situation. The first course offered was the ‘General Cotton Course.”

The curriculum later expanded to include knitting technology, chemistry of textiles, dyeing and finishing and fashion and textile design. After World War II the school began offering degrees in engineering, chemistry, and business administration, in response to a growing need for broader technological educational opportunities in southeastern Massachusetts. The Board of Collegiate Authority approved the Trustees’request to grant a Bachelor of Science degree in November of 1948. In 1950 42 graduates earned the degree, in 3 subjects: textile chemistry, textile engineering, and machine design. The name of the school was changed briefly to the New Bedford Textile Institute (1946-1957) and later to the New Bedford Institute of Textiles and Technology (1957-1964) to reflect changes in curriculum. Physical facilities continually expanded beginning in 1902, and ended with the construction of a science building across from the main building on Purchase Street in 1956 (for a more detailed chronology of structures, see URC 12).

In 1960 Southeastern Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SMTI) was created (Acts of 1960, Chapter 543, July 7, 1960) to prepare for the consolidation of the New Bedford Institute of Technology and Bradford Durfee College of Technology of Fall River. Separate boards of trustees and separate campuses remained under their own names until final consolidation on July 1, 1964 (Acts of 1964, Chapter 495, June 10, 1964). In 1969 SMTI was renamed Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU) by the General Court of Massachusetts (Acts of 1969, Chapter 396, June 8, 1969). SMU joined the 5-campus system of the University of Massachusetts in 1990; it is now known as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

During the transition years, 1960-1964, the SMTI Board of Trustees first met on December 20, 1960 to begin planning a new university. They developed curriculum, hired a president, guided consolidation of the 2 older colleges, and planned and oversaw construction of the first phase of the present campus in North Dartmouth. Group I, the first academic building, was completed in 1966. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth continued to maintain the original Purchase Street building until 2001 when the College of Visual and Performing Arts moved into the renovated Star Store Center for the Arts in downtown New Bedford.

Other early names used by the school were the American Correspondence School of Textiles and the New Bedford State Textile School, but neither appear to be officially authorized by the Board of Trustees, as are the other names the school was known by.

The Board of Trustees of the New Bedford Institute of Technology was composed of 15 members, appointed by the governor. Officers included a chairman, vice chairman and secretary. There were 9 standing committees: Budget; Athletic; Scholarship; Honorary Degrees and Commencement; Advisory Committee to NBIT Research Foundation; Education; Property; Public Relations and Legislature; and Constitution and By-Laws. Each volume contains the minutes of the monthly trustee meetings, as well as reports of each of these committees. The last meeting of the NBIT Board of Trustees, prior to consolidation, was June 25, 1964.


3 Linear Feet (15 ledger sized volumes and one 3-ring binder)

Processing Information

Finding aid by Judy Farrar, October 1996; revised June 2001. Originally catalogued as C1.

New Bedford Institute of Technology, Board of Trustees meeting minutes
Judy Farrar
October 1996 and June 2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition 1996; Second edition, with revisions, 2001

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA