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Address: 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: 401-421-6970
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Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: One of America's oldest lending libraries established in 1753.

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Awesome Little Library!

What an awesome place! It's a private library of sorts that's been around for ages, and is one of those gorgeous old libraries with balcony shelves that you get to walk around... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed June 30, 2015
apdemas
,
Herndon, Virginia
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59 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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maryland
Level Contributor
138 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW

It's a private library that houses some very old books. Climbing the ladder to the second story and walking on those old creaky floors was a bit unnerving for me, but I enjoyed thumbing through some of the older books. The lower level has ample seating to enjoy a magazine or a newspaper after hoofing up and down Benefit Street.

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Herndon, Virginia
Level Contributor
204 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

What an awesome place! It's a private library of sorts that's been around for ages, and is one of those gorgeous old libraries with balcony shelves that you get to walk around. They have a neat self-guided tour around that explains the history of the library. If you're visiting Brown or RISD, definitely take a few minutes to go visit.... More 

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Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
111 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

I took some great photos here and one made it to an exhibit. So peaceful and relaxing. Take a break and visit for half a day. Bring a notebook to keep notes on your thoughts and ideas. This place is inspiring.

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Level Contributor
63 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2015

We stopped by here after a visit to RISD's Museum just because it was less than a block away. What a wonderful serendipity that was! The library is beautiful and they have retained all of the old charm and serenity of what libraries used to be. The fact that Poe spent time here just adds to what would already be... More 

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Hancock, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
65 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015

Show your kids what a real library looks like - complete with open stacks, the sublime smell of old books, and the not-to-be-missed old fashioned card catalog. This place looks like a move set but is a real working library of the "old school." Check it out while you're near RISD or Brown -- it's a MUST see.

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Orefield
Level Contributor
51 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2015

Highly recommended if you like libraries and/or Edgar Allen Poe. Self tour can be done in 20 minutes and you can appreciate the love of books and libraries.

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Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
68 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

A walk back in time to when libraries were not as pedestrian as they now are, with a deeply interesting collection. Edgar Allan Poe was a subscriber, and you can be shown his signature.

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Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

The Athenaeum is not your average library- you can tell from the moment you walk in and find a bowl of doggy treats on the front desk. Your pet is welcome here, because they know you will want to stay a while. I have had the pleasure here of conducting picture book workshops, and there is something magical about the... More 

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Doha
Level Contributor
64 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

This member driven library is a historic area of Providence, across from the Supreme court, and absolutely majestic, with several floors, filled with books of every kind and custom lighting. Various parts of the facility are available for rent and we found using the facility to be a conversation piece for a book event. Staff were efficient and friendly.

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Haverhill,Massachusetts
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014

What I enjoyed the most was the friendly helpful staff. There is a marked self tour with lots of interesting twists, fun way to share information about the building. Highly recommend taking the time to check it out!

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