Last updated: 5/31/2021
Boston, Massachusetts
Address
10½ Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
phone: 617-227-0270
e-mail: events@bostonathenaeum.org
web: bostonathenaeum.org/
Hours
Monday - Thursday9 AM - 8 PM
Friday - Saturday9 AM - 5 PM
Staff
Mission

The mission of the Boston Athenæum is to engage all who seek knowledge by making accessible our library’s collections and spaces, thereby inspiring reflection, discourse, creative expression, and joy.

History

Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States.

The new Athenæum flourished in culture-starved Boston and, as it voraciously acquired books, art, and artifacts, it grew rapidly. In 1827, it added an Art Gallery and began a series of yearly exhibitions of American and European art. For nearly half a century the Athenæum was the unchallenged center of intellectual life in Boston, and by 1851, had become one of the largest libraries in the United States.

Today its collections comprise over half a million volumes, with particular strengths in Boston history, New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine and decorative arts. The Athenæum supports a dynamic exhibition program and sponsors a lively variety of events such as lectures and concerts. It also serves as a stimulating center for discussions among scholars, bibliophiles, and a variety of community-interest groups

Library

Reference Department

Reference librarians and the main reference collection are located on the second floor of the Athenæum. We are happy to assist members whether researching an extensive scholarly project, learning how to use Athena, (the Athenæum's online catalog), curious about an obscure fact, or looking for a cozy mystery to read over the weekend.

Circulation Desk

The Circulation Desk at the Boston Athenæum is located on the first floor, just beyond the Security Desk. Here members may check out and return books, reserve books, sign up for Art & Architecture Tours or meet for New Member Tours, and ask for help finding books. Gift shop items may also be purchased at the Circulation Desk.

Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

Appointment required: No

This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
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Richmond, Virginia

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MUSEUM CONFERENCES
Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 31, 2021 — Virtual
Arriving this October: The Western Museum Association Roadshow!
Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Washington, District of Columbia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri