Boston Athenæum

Boston, United States

Boston Athenæum

8.8

The Boston Athenaeum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States. It is also one of a number of membership libraries, for which patrons pay a yearly subscription fee to use Athenaeum services. The institution was founded in 1807 by the Anthology Club of Boston, Massachusetts. It is located at 10 1/2 Beacon Street on Beacon Hill.

Resources of the Boston Athenaeum include a large circulating book collection; a public gallery; a rare books collection of over 100,000 volumes; an art collection of 100,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts; research collections including one of the world's most important collections of primary materials on the American Civil War; and a public forum offering lectures, readings, concerts, and other events. Special treasures include the largest portion of President George Washington's library from Mount Vernon; Houdon busts of Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Lafayette once owned by Thomas Jefferson; a first edition copy of Audubon's The Birds of America; a 1799 set of Goya's Los caprichos; portraits by Gilbert Stuart, Chester Harding, and John Singer Sargent; and one of the most extensive collections of contemporary artists' books in the United States.

Thumbnail image credited to Additional info



Accommodations near Boston Athenæum

View more options near Boston Athenæum

Nearby Tours & Activities