Boston Athenaeum

Boston AthenaeumThis time we’ll visit the largest membership library in the country, the Boston Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum is in the middle of celebrating its 200th year with an impressive exhibition covering their continuous collecting of books and art over the last two centuries. The building holds books, paintings, and sculptures from the libraries of John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and others, along with many important pieces of Boston history.

As a working library, the Athenaeum runs community outreach programs throughout New England in addition to serving its 5000 members — who get to use the library’s amazing fifth-floor reading room.

I visited the library on Beacon Hill for the first time a few months ago, and went back a few weeks ago to get a feel for the place from the institution’s director and a tour of the anniversary exhibition from a curator.

Photo Credit: Boston Athenaeum

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