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.
|Monday||9:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Friday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
Angelina Nguyen | Mar 18, 2018
I came here as a visitor. It’s not worth $10. You’re limited to a few ordinary rooms on the first floor. It took less than 5 minutes to see the whole floor.
Bp Pb | Mar 25, 2018
The tour is something to do - it gets you access to areas that normally you wouldn't. However - it was called N architectural tour, but it was more of a book tour - not sure if that was only because of the guide we had.
Fritz Holznagel | Oct 1, 2017
I'm a member. It's truly an amazing place. A good spot to sit in a comfortable chair and ponder your place in the timeline of American history.
Clinton Nguyen | Jul 19, 2017
I prefer the Boston Central Library, as for this one is quite small. Especially considering the public spaces are limited due to the rest being 'member's' only rooms. It was mediocre at best.
William Stinson | May 28, 2017
I have been a member for many years, and the athenaeum is an incredible place, with books, from George Washington's Private library, all the way to children's books. The records are so fascinating.
Lily Fang | Aug 14, 2018
A lovely spot with lots of history and cool books! Would only recommend going for a tour as a non-member, however. Otherwise, rooms are super limited and you can't even see the nicer parts of the athenaeum (namely, the 5th floor reading room). They have free visits every second Saturday of the month, and tours are only $2 each, so would highly recommend going then. Tours are an hour long and I found ours engaging and interesting.
Gloria Beachy | Jul 19, 2018
What an amazing place! Loved the tour. One thing we didn't love though was the only tour was at 3:00. We are now in rush hour traffic going home to NH! Not fun! Can't there be earlier times?
Wander is a travel search engine that allows you to find the perfect travel destination that fits your budget and preferences.