The Boston Athenæum – a unique combination of library, museum, and cultural center in a magnificent landmark building.
We are one of the country’s oldest and most distinguished independent libraries, with a circulating collection of over half a million books, from works published in the 1800s to the latest best sellers. Special collections include active research holdings of 100,000 rare books, maps and manuscripts, and 100,000 works of art, from paintings and sculpture to prints and photographs. Members, visitors, and the community enjoy a year-round schedule of cultural programming – author talks, book clubs, exhibitions, concerts, social gatherings, and opportunities for connection.
The Athenaeum's five galleried floors overlook the peaceful Granary Burying Ground, and as Gamaliel Bradford wrote, "it is safe to say that [no library] anywhere has more an atmosphere of its own, that none is more conducive to intellectual aspiration and spiritual peace" (The Quick and the Dead, 1931). The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.