{ subscribe_url:'//blogs.loc.gov/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/folklife.php' }

New at AFC: Photography from the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center

Photo by Phillip Mello

The American Folklife Center (AFC) is excited to be featuring “Working on the Waterfront,” a documentary display of photographs created by the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (NBFHC) in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The display, which is located in Room LJ-G53 on the ground floor of the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building, is open to the public through October, 2019.

In 2016, the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center received a prestigious Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center to document workers on the New Bedford waterfront for AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project (OFP). The OFP is an ongoing research initiative to record the lives, careers, and experiences of contemporary workers in a wide range of trades and occupations throughout the United States.

Photo by Phillip Mello

Under the direction of NBFHC Executive Director Laura Orleans, funds from the competitive fellowship were used to hire researchers to record oral histories and photograph almost 60 workers involved in diverse fishing-related trades and occupations on the New Bedford waterfront. The resulting interviews and accompanying photographs have been added to the American Folklife Center archive, where they will be available to current and future researchers. Both interviews and photographs also will be available online through the Library’s website in the near future.

New Bedford photographer Phillip Mello worked with Ms. Orleans and her team to photograph the workers interviewed for the project, and the quality and beauty of his photographic portraits inspired the American Folklife Center to remount the display which was originally featured at the NBFHC in 2018. Mr. Mello, a respected photographer who was also interviewed about his job as general manager at Bergie’s Seafood, has been taking photographs of his fellow waterfront workers since 1975.

Self Portrait by Phillip Mello

The American Folklife Center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The display is ADA accessible and free to the public.

2 Comments

  1. Harriet McHenry
    June 28, 2019 at 10:35 am

    It’s so nice to see the fishing industry recognized.
    I am the granddaughter, daughter, and sister of fishermen who fished off New York, New Jersey, and New Bedford.
    My Dad and brother retired from fishing several years ago as shrimpers off Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.

  2. OMAR SARA
    July 5, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    It’s so nice to see the fishing industry recognized!!.
    Thanks for sharing!

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.