About The Museum's 107-year history reveals an intimate relationship with the communities it serves. Motivated by civic pride and a desire to preserve the artifacts and narratives of the region, the museum was founded by the children of the progenitors of the American whaling industry. The Old Dartmouth Historical Society was established "to create and foster an interest in the history of Old Dartmouth".
A touchstone to the region's past, the museum has evolved as a crossroads through which diverse communities intersect, conveying their rich cultures. The Museum can claim many superlatives amongst its holdings including the world's largest library of whaling logbooks, prints and journals.