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Welcome to the Boston Public Library. The Library is currently closed. Only employees and those with a scheduled appointment may enter. All other guests are invited to return during normal business hours.— Intercom announcer

Boston Public Library is a location in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston in 2287.

Background

Boston Public Library was the main public library in Boston and the United States' second-largest library, home to a vast amount of books and historical records. The library offered lectures, readings, recitals, and art and architectural tours.[1] It was the largest repository of historical documentation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a vibrant location before the Great War. After the war, Curator Givens led a crew to the library to retrieve and preserve any surviving information, but decades of neglect, water damage, looting, and vandalism had ruined most of the books. The relentless super mutant attacks eventually killed the team.[2]

Similar to certain other municipal buildings (including some hospitals and police stations), the library has a book return terminal where overdue books can be returned in exchange for book return tokens, which in turn can be used to obtain various prizes.

Layout

The library is occupied by Mk 1 turrets, Protectrons, and leveled super mutants.

The library's main entrance is an Advanced-locked door on the west side of the building. Passing an easy speech check at the nearby intercom will unlock the door, and will also trick the security system into thinking the player character is an employee, making all turrets and Protectrons inside the library friendly towards the player character. Attacking a friendly turret or Protectron will then result in combat with that unit only.

Inside the main entrance, a tripwire triggers a three-grenade bouquet. In the entrance room is a book return terminal. To the north is the main hall, with several super mutant corpses at the south end, and two turrets, three Protectrons, and the corpse of Dalen at the north end. A computer room (with the corpse of Curator Givens) connected to a Master-locked storage room (containing a steamer trunk and other loot) is north of the hall. On the northeast side of the hall is a door chained from the other direction.

Returning to the main entrance, a hallway runs to the east. Descending a ramp formed by a collapsed section of floor in a side room to the south allows access to the library's central courtyard. A set of stairs guarded by a turret at the north end of the courtyard leads up to a reading room with a Novice-locked terminal on the other side of the chained door from the main hall. East of the reading room is a balcony with a Novice-locked terminal and a second book return terminal. Stairs lead down from the balcony to the entrance to Copley Station, with a nearby tripwire triggering three grenade bouquets holding a total of seven grenades.

Continuing south from the balcony is a series of smaller rooms, including another reading room with several broken terminals, a pair of restrooms, a filing room with a chemistry station, and an office along the hallway east of the main entrance.

Notable loot

  • Massachusetts Surgical Journal issue #13 - In the book return terminal in the southwest corner of the building by the main entrance, obtained as a prize in exchange for 50 book return tokens.
  • Vault-Tec lunchbox - In the southwest room with the book return terminal by the main entrance on a table.
  • Library storage room key - In the main hall on the west side of the building, in the northeast corner on a table next to Curator Givens' terminal.
  • Intelligence bobblehead - In the computer room in the northwest[3] corner of the building, on the large computer.
  • Stealth Boy and bottlecap mine - In the small Master-locked storage room off the computer room in the northwest corner of the building.
  • Nine overdue books:
    • Three are outside the building to the southeast across the street inside a Pulowski Preservation shelter.
    • Three are in the computer room in the northwest corner of the building on the ground at the foot of two sleeping bags.
    • One is in the reading room on the north side of the building on a shelf west of a Novice-locked terminal.
    • One is in the reading room on the east side of the building on a table next to a broken terminal near the door to the south.
    • One is in the women's restroom on the east side of the building in a stall.

Related quests

Notes

  • Passing the speech check at the library entrance intercoms reveals that Mayor Hildenbrand's six-digit code to access the library is 123456.
  • Bypassing the library entrance intercoms (by lockpicking either the library's main entrance door or the entrance door from Copley Station) will result in all turrets in the library being hostile. The turrets' allegiance cannot be changed with Total Hack (although two of them can be shut down), meaning they will be permanently hostile after this point. Attacking or being detected by a turret will then cause all Protectrons to also become hostile.
  • If the Sole Survivor lingers near the small Master-locked storage room in the northwest corner of the library, approximately twenty super mutants and mutant hounds will begin to attack in multiple waves from the two entrances. Triggering the super mutant attack when the turrets are hostile towards the player character is likely to become very messy very quickly. The turrets will almost certainly target the Sole Survivor should one decide to enter the fray, resulting in the Protectrons also targeting the player and making for quite a battle.
  • Using a jet pack, one can find a dead Brotherhood of Steel initiate on the roof.
  • Cut content Curator Givens' terminal logs mention Dalen's suggestion to "compress the archives" and imply the player character can "further our cause," which seems to point to the large computer in the computer room with the bobblehead, but no further clues are found. On PC, if one turns clipping off (using the console command tcl) and walks through the computer and wall, a "BPL Mainframe" terminal can be found floating in mid-air directly behind the bobblehead. For console players, using a jet pack to fly through the skylight may allow access to the hidden terminal. Upon using the terminal, one is asked if one wants to "compress data to holotape." Selecting "yes" will award experience and eject the "BPL compressed data" holotape, which can then be found in the miscellaneous section of the inventory. The quest event ID is listed as DN011 OverdueBooks, with stages of 0 and 1000. Stage 1000 gives the player the holotape and XP, and changes the terminal to state the data has been compressed. Whether the terminal being inaccessible was a level designer's oversight or intentional is not known. It is also not known whether the holotape serves any purpose elsewhere in the game.

Companion comments

  • When at this location, companions make comments, which are activated at two locations: at the entrance from Copley Station, and in the main hall.
Location comments
Character Specific location Comment
Cait Copley Station entrance "Well, this is certainly a friendly way to welcome people to a library."
Main hall "Which section has the dirty magazines?"
Codsworth Copley Station entrance "I wonder how many of the books survived. Today's humanity could greatly benefit from any knowledge within these walls."
Main hall "It's a shame to see everything in such ruin."
Curie Copley Station entrance "Oh, a library! Please, we must go in."
Main hall "Those are not sorted in the proper Dewey Decimal System. Hmph."
Danse Copley Station entrance "The lion was such a noble and majestic creature. It's a shame they're extinct."
Main hall "This library would be quite beneficial to our scribes. I'll have to make a note of it's location."
Deacon Copley Station entrance "Look out. There's crazy robots inside there. Or were they in the library in your day, too?"
Main hall "That's just a waste. All those books."
John Hancock Copley Station entrance "You mind explaining to me what lions have to do with lending books?"
Main hall "Rotten books and dead bodies. Pungent."
Robert MacCready Copley Station entrance "Lion statues, huh? Great way to scare the kids."
Main hall "Let's be careful. No human being would possibly pile books this way."
Nick Valentine Copley Station entrance "Stay. Good kitty."
Main hall "How many masterworks, lost forever."
Piper Wright Copley Station entrance "You think there might still be real lions out there somewhere?"
Main hall "So many books. I'd live in this place if it weren't for all the Mutants."
Preston Garvey Copley Station entrance "I came by here years ago, but I've never been inside. Do you think it's still full of books after all this time?"
Main hall "One day maybe we can put this all back together. I know, doesn't seem very likely right now, but I can dream."
X6-88 Copley Station entrance "These creatures must have been impressive in person."
Main hall "Learning from books? Not exactly efficient."

Appearances

Boston Public Library only appears in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenes

  • Boston Public Library is a real-world location of the same name.
  • Nathan Purkeypile designed the building kit and lighting for the Boston Public Library.[4]

Bugs

  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 One can get stuck inside the room at the bottom of the ramp to the south of the courtyard. A small room to the west blocked by rubble can be entered through the right side of the doorway, but is not possible to exit without loading a previous save.[verified]
  • PCPC The game may freeze when receiving the Massachusetts Surgical Journal from the book return terminal. It will not be possible to exit the terminal, and the "Item Obtained" overlay will be stuck on the screen indefinitely. This issue may possibly be avoided if the Enter key is used instead of the Activate key to select the prize in the terminal.[verified]
  • PCPC The library entrance intercoms may respond like an NPC (e.g. with "Huh?" or "Yeah?") instead of starting the dialogue explaining that the library is closed. This will make the entrance door to the library impossible to open without lockpicking, and leads to the turrets in the library followed by the resident Protectrons becoming hostile. Restarting the game or reloading a save won't fix the issue. However, entering the console command player.addtofaction ff404 1 before being detected by the automated defenses will make the player character an ally of the turrets and Protectrons.

Gallery

References

  1. Boston Airport ruins terminal entries; information desk terminal, visit the Boston Public Library
  2. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition pp. 451-452: "[11.01] BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
    This was the largest repository of historical documentation in the Commonwealth and a well-visited location before the bombs dropped. Decades of neglect, water damage, looting, and vandalism ruined all the books stored here. The building still has a grandeur and is accessed either by a side entrance (Advanced) or by a subterranean entrance at Copley Station, under the main building. Super Mutants roam these halls now."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  3. Unless one is wearing power armor, which alters your compass orientation; in that case, the control room is in the northeast corner.
  4. ArtStation - Portfolio, Nathan Purkeypile
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