Boston Athenaeum

101⁄2 Beacon Street Boston

Boston Literary Landmarks/Boston Athenaeum
City of Boston Arts
Written By City of Boston Arts

The Mayor's Office of Arts + Culture for Boston. We foster the growth of the cultural community in Boston and promote participation in the arts.

Although the biggest library in Boston is the Boston Public Library, the Boston Athenæum is arguably the most important. The website for the Boston Athenæum states the mission is "to serve its members, the broader community, and scholars throughout the world by preserving and augmenting its collections of books and art, by providing library services and cultural programs, and by preserving and enhancing the unique atmosphere of its landmark building." --Boston Athenaeum

The Boston Athenæum was founded in 1807 and is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the United States. In 1805 an organization called the Anthology Society, which formed to launch a magazine named The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review, decided to create The Boston Athenæum. Its purpose was to forge "an establishment similar to that of the Athenæum and Lyceum of Liverpool in Great Britain; combining the advantages of a public library [and] containing the great works of learning and science in all languages." --Boston Athenaeum

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Today the Boston Athenæum has over half a million volumes, much of focus on Boston, New England, and local history. The Athenæum also hosts a wide variety of events like lectures and concerts.

[Cover Photo Credit: Meia Geddes via Flickr]

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