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New Bedford Institute of Technology records

Identifier: URC-033

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of school catalogs, bulletins, founding documents such as the charter, real estate and architectural records, acts and resolves as they pertain to the changes of the school’s name, brochures, administrative and student manuals, athletic event programs. Also includes bound records of the meeting of the instructors, 1909-1929.


  • 1895-1964


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 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.


3 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged into six series: catalogs, bulletins, administrative records, financial records, curricular materials and student records, and faculty records.

New Bedford Institute of Technology records
Judy Farrar
February 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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