Museums Offer an Escape While We #StayHome.

It has now been five weeks since we have been told to “stay home” and we are sure you are all going just a bit stir crazy these days. Under normal circumstances, we would be looking to our cultural institutions to help us get out of our doldrums and explore without having to leave Massachusetts. We are lucky enough at Bentley Library to be able to offer access to world-class institutions throughout the state and being stuck at home has not changed that! Here is a look at what museums are doing to stay connected and stay vibrant in a virtual world:

Zoo New England has created #ZooToYou! You can tune in everyday at 1:30pm EST to Facebook live where they are presenting videos, activities, and more. You can also virtually “meet” the animals to learn more about their natural habitats and conservation efforts!

The Museum of Science has similarly created #MOSatHome where they have daily “Ask a Scientist” live stream events as well as “Science in Action” where they conduct live experiments. You can register for the free events ahead of time so you can add them to your calendar and receive a reminder of when they are about to start.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum now has “The Gardner at Home” where they are blogging about their collections and offering virtual tours of their world famous courtyard and greenhouses. You can even watch or download music that has been performed in their newly renovated concert hall.

The Museum of Fine Arts has made a number of their collections available through “Google Arts & Culture” and made virtual tours of recent exhibits available on their site.  They have also started “Art for this Moment” where curators “share objects from across our collections that carry personal significance and global resonance.”

In addition to their award winning podcast, PEMcast, Peabody Essex Museum has pulled together all sorts of digital content. You’ll be able to read stories, listen to artist’s, and explore collections all from the safety of your living room.

If you are just craving some time spent outside, our newest partner, The Trustees of Reservations, have got you covered! There you will find wildlife cameras, activities to help you identify bird calls, a live sunset stream from The Fruitlands Museum, and even a virtual fire pit at 6:45pm EST every Friday!

Grand Teton National Park

Lastly, our National Parks are one of our greatest resources and they provide many opportunities to #FindYourVirtualPark! The National Park Foundation has virtual tours, activities for kids, live webcams, and incredible photography.

Even though it is easy to feel stuck right now, we hope these ideas inspire you to stay connected while we all #StayHome.

Passes to The Institute of Contemporary Art Now Available at the Library!

After fielding a number of requests, we are thrilled to announce that we have added The Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston to the museum pass program! After incorporating in 1936, the museum spent decades moving from spot to spot around Boston before opening its flagship location in Boston’s Seaport District in 2006. The 62,000 square foot space now houses a permanent collection of 20th- and 21st-century art with works by Paul Chan, Marlene Dumas, Mona Hatoum, Christian Jankowski, and Cornelia Parker.  The mission of the museum is “to share the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, provocation, and imagination that contemporary art offers through public access to art, artists, and the creative process.”

We are able to offer one pass per day that will admit 2 people at a cost of $5.00 each. Reservations can be made up to a month in advance on the library’s Museum Pass page.

Please note that passes are for the exhibit halls only and are not valid for entry to performances or special events.

Photo by Chuck Choi
retrieved from

Visit the Zoo! Zoo New England Passes are now available.

Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!

We’re happy to report that students, faculty and staff can now borrow passes to the two Zoo New England zoos – Franklin Park Zoo in Dorchester and Stone Zoo in Stoneham.

Daily passes admit 2 adults and 4 children at $2 per person to either zoo. (The Franklin Park Zoo is accessible on the MBTA orange line). Passes may be picked up 24 hours prior to use and must be returned to Library.

View pass availability and reserve your passes via our Museum Pass Program page.  If you have any questions please contact Library Services at 781.891.2168 or

Visit a Museum, Our Treat!

Did you know that the Bentley Library offers museum passes that will allow you free or reduced admission to some of the most popular Boston-area museums Even better, you can check for museum pass availability up to 30 days in advance and immediately reserve your passes online.

Museum passes are available for the following museums:

For more information (or to make your reservation now) visit our Museum Passes page.

Get Free & Reduced Admission to Museums

Did you know that the Bentley Library offers museum passes that will allow you free or reduced admission to some of the most popular Boston-area museums?   Even better, you can check for museum pass availability up to 30 days in advance and immediately reserve your passes online.  Museum passes available are:

  • De Cordova Museum (Lincoln, MA)
  • Fruitlands Museum (Harvard, MA)
  • Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA)
  • Historic New England (formerly S.P.N.E.A.) (various New England locations)
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston)
  • John F. Kennedy Library and Museum (Boston)
  • Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)
  • Museum of Science (Boston)
  • National Heritage Museum (Lexington)
  • New England Aquarium (Boston) (not available during summer months)
  • Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA)

For more information (or to make your reservation now) go to the library’s home page and click on “Museum Passes”.