10 1/2 Beacon Street
Boston, MA


The Boston Athenaeum is a private library and research institution located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Founded in 1807, it is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States and has a rich history of serving the literary and cultural needs of Bostonians and the wider community. The Athenaeum holds an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and other materials covering a wide range of subjects, including literature, history, art, and science. The collection is particularly strong in American literature and history, as well as materials related to the history of Boston and New England.

The Boston Athenaeum is housed in a beautiful, historic building located in the heart of the city's Beacon Hill neighborhood. The building was designed by the architect Charles Bulfinch, who also designed the Massachusetts State House. The library's reading room, with its high ceilings and large windows, is a popular spot for reading and research. The library's galleries and exhibition spaces feature rotating exhibits of art, artifacts, and manuscripts from its collections, highlighting different aspects of the Athenaeum's rich history.

Membership to the Boston Athenaeum is required to use the library's collections, but the public is welcome to visit the galleries and attend the events open to non-members. You can buy a day pass which are available to purchase for $40 at the front desk. A day pass is valid for all open hours. The library's Special Collections department is a valuable resource for scholars and researchers, and the library's staff is available to assist with research and reference needs.

The Boston Athenaeum also hosts a wide range of cultural and educational programs, such as lectures, concerts, and seminars, which are open to the public. These programs provide an opportunity for the community to engage with the library's collections and learn more about the history and culture of Boston and New England.


In conclusion, The Boston Athenaeum is a unique and important institution in the cultural and intellectual life of Boston, and has played a significant role in the literary and cultural development of the city since its founding in 1807. Its collections, exhibitions, and programs, along with its beautiful historic building, provide an enriching experience for visitors, scholars and researchers. The Athenaeum is an excellent resource for those interested in American literature, history, and the arts, and the history of Boston and New England.

Guided tours are available by appointment.

For more information call 617-720-7604


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