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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

The Boston Public Library is a landmark of the Back Bay Boston neighborhood in the Commonwealth still accessible in 2287.


Boston Public Library was the main public library in Boston and was the United States' second-largest library, home to many books and historical records. The library offered lectures, readings, and recitals, in addition to art and architectural tours.[1] This was the largest repository of historical documentation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a well-visited location before the Great War. Curator Givens led a crew to the library to preserve all the knowledge that was left, but decades of neglect, water damage, looting, and vandalism had ruined most of the books stored here. The relentless super mutant attacks increasing daily eventually killed the team.[2]

Certain municipal buildings (like this library, hospitals, and police stations) have book return terminals where overdue books can be dropped off in return for book return tokens. The book return terminals offer various prizes as well as dispense these tokens.


The library is O-shaped with an open patio in the center. The whole place is inhabited by Protectrons and Mk 1 turrets. It is also filled with super mutants of varying strengths depending on level. A booby trap with a three-grenade bouquet can be found inside near the entrance connected to the library from Copley Station. There is also a tripwire and single grenade bouquet at the back entrance (with the intercom). The Sole Survivor's actions can trigger additional waves of super mutants to attack the library's defenses.

Copley Station

Main article: Copley Station

The library can be accessed through the front door (which is Advanced locked) or through Copley Station which runs under the library. A stairwell on the east side of the platform leads up to the library door, which has an intercom on the right side. Talking via the intercom and passing an easy speech check gives access to the building, while it also sets all Protectrons inside the library to be friendly towards the player.

Boston Public Library

At the front entrance, there is a hallway straight ahead and a large records room littered with super mutant corpses to the east. This large room connects to a smaller computer room containing Curator Givens, as well as a pavilion filled with broken terminals and display cases. The pavilion opens to a central courtyard containing a fountain to the south and the Copley station entrance to the east.

Down the hallway at the entrance is a busted floor that leads to the central courtyard. Further down, at the end of the hallway is a room containing a chemistry station. The hallway curves leading to the Copley station entrance, going past a few more media rooms.

Notable loot

  • Intelligence bobblehead - In the mechanical room (northwestern side of the building, second floor, the room has a closed but unlocked door on approach)[3] On the large computer.
  • Stealth Boy and bottlecap mine - In the supply room off the northern room that contains the Intelligence bobblehead behind a Master-locked door.
    • The key can be found in the previous room in the northeast corner next to a terminal.
  • Massachusetts Surgical Journal issue #13 - Only obtained as a prize from the book return terminal in the southwest corner. Requires 50 book return tokens, equivalent to 10 overdue books. It is on the 2nd floor beside the entrance from Back Bay.
  • Six overdue books:
    • Three in the mechanical room; on the left side of the room upon entering, on the ground near the two sleeping bags and ammo box.
    • One in the women's restroom in a stall.
    • One in the main reading room on a shelf by the terminal (face the terminal and turn to the immediate west).
    • Enter the building through Back Bay (western) entrance. Head down the hall directly in front of the player character, then through the first hole in the wall on the left. Continue through this room through the doorway into the next room. The book is on the first desk one comes to.
  • Vault-Tec lunchbox on a table in the southwest room, near the overdue book machine (look right/east when facing the machine). Another lunchbox can be found in the underground station, in a baby carriage. One may wish to overturn the baby carriage as when the lunchbox is opened the prize may fall through the ground. Another lunchbox can be found on the floor of the cafeteria to the left of the main entrance.
  • Three more overdue books - In a Pulowski Preservation shelter to the southeast of the building's exterior.

Related quests


  • An intercom can be found and interacted with outside the western entrance. By passing an Easy, un-failable Persuasion check, the player character can enter the library without picking the lock. Doing so tricks the security system into thinking the player character is an employee, turning all Protectrons and turrets friendly. Attacking a friendly Protectron or turret will engage in combat with that unit only. The Persuasion check reveals the ID passcode used (123456) belonged to the Mayor of Boston.
  • Bypassing the intercom (either by lockpicking the western door or entering via Copley station) will have all Protectrons be friendly, but all turrets hostile. The turrets' allegiance cannot be changed with Total Hack (although two of them can be shut down) which means they will be permanently hostile after this point; attacking a turret, or being detected by one, will cause all Protectrons to become hostile too.
  • If the Sole Survivor lingers near the Master locked room at the north of the library, approximately 20 super mutants will begin to attack in multiple waves from the opposite entrance the player used (i.e. if one came in via Copley, the mutants will attack through the western door and vice versa).
  • Triggering the super mutant attack when the turrets are hostile towards the player character is likely to get very messy very quickly. The turrets will almost certainly pick the Sole Survivor as a target should one decide to enter the fray, which means the Protectrons will also be targeting the player, which can make for quite a battle.
  • On top of the library roof, using a jet pack, one can find a dead Brotherhood of Steel initiate.
  • Cut content Curator Givens' terminal logs make mention of "compressing" data and imply that the player character can "help the cause" and seems to point to the large data computer where the bobblehead is, but no further clues are found. If one turns clipping off (tcl) and walks through the actual computer and wall, directly behind where the bobblehead is, a terminal can be found just floating in mid-air. For console players, using a jet pack may fly the Sole Survivor through the skylight, thus enabling them to reach the terminal that way. Upon accessing it, it asks if one wants to "compress data to holotape, yes or no?" Selecting yes will update the player with experience and eject the "BPL compressed data" holotape which can then be found under misc. in the inventory section. The quest event ID is listed as DN011 OverdueBooks, which has a stage of 0 and 1000. Stage 1000 gives the player the disk and XP and changes the terminal to say the data has been compressed. Whether the terminal being inaccessible was a level designer's oversight, or intentionally left out of the game is not known. It is also not known if the BPL compressed data holotape has use elsewhere in the game.

Companion comments

  • When at this location, companions make comments, which are activated at two locations: at the main entrance and in the hall where the defenses are.
Location comments
Character Specific location Comment
Cait Main entrance "Well, this is certainly a friendly way to welcome people to a library."
Hall where defenses are "Which section has the dirty magazines?"
Codsworth Main entrance "I wonder how many of the books survived. Today's humanity could greatly benefit from any knowledge within these walls."
Hall where defenses are "It's a shame to see everything in such ruin."
Curie Main entrance "Oh, a library! Please, we must go in."
Hall where defenses are "Those are not sorted in the proper Dewey Decimal System. Hmph."
Danse Main entrance "The lion was such a noble and majestic creature. It's a shame they're extinct."
Hall where defenses are "This library would be quite beneficial to our scribes. I'll have to make a note of it's location."
Deacon Main entrance "Look out. There's crazy robots inside there. Or were they in the library in your day, too?"
Hall where defenses are "That's just a waste. All those books."
John Hancock Main entrance "You mind explaining to me what lions have to do with lending books?"
Hall where defenses are "Rotten books and dead bodies. Pungent."
Robert MacCready Main entrance "Lion statues, huh? Great way to scare the kids."
Hall where defenses are "Let's be careful. No human being would possibly pile books this way."
Nick Valentine Main entrance "Stay. Good kitty."
Hall where defenses are "How many masterworks, lost forever."
Piper Wright Main entrance "You think there might still be real lions out there somewhere?"
Hall where defenses are "So many books. I'd live in this place if it weren't for all the Mutants."
Preston Garvey Main 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?"
Hall where defenses are "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 Main entrance "These creatures must have been impressive in person."
Hall where defenses are "Learning from books? Not exactly efficient."


Boston Public Library appears only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenes


  • Icon pc.png Icon ps4.png One can get stuck inside the room in the bottom level after coming down the ramp. (The room connected to the open patio area) There's a room with junk piled in the door. It can be entered through the right hand side of the doorway, but it is not possible to leave without loading a previous save. [verified]
  • Icon pc.png The game can freeze while receiving the Surgical Journal. It will not be possible to exit the book terminal and one will have the "Item Obtained" overlay stuck on their screen indefinitely.[verified]
    • Possible fix: Press the Enter key instead of the activate key.
  • Icon pc.png The intercom at the door may respond like an NPC (e.g. with 'Huh?" or "Yeah?") instead of starting the dialog informing the player that the library is currently closed. This precludes the player from entering the library as an ally of the robots, and the robots will be hostile.
    • Partial fix: Enter the console command player.addtofaction ff404 1. This makes the player an ally of the robots, who will not attack. The player must still pick the lock, and it appears that the Super Mutant attack will not occur until after the player opens the storage room door in the back room, to the right of Curator Givens' corpse.



  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