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Providence Athenaeum

Address: 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903 (College Hill)
Phone Number: 401-421-6970
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Ranked #17 of 136 things to do in Providence
Type: Libraries, Architectural buildings, Historic sites, Sights & Landmarks, Traveler Resources
Owner description: One of America's oldest lending libraries established in 1753.
Attraction details
Type: Libraries, Architectural buildings, Historic sites, Sights & Landmarks, Traveler Resources
Hours:
Sun 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Owner description: One of America's oldest lending libraries established in 1753.

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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    36
    10
    4
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015 NEW

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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Doha
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 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
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 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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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
822 reviews 822 reviews
411 attraction reviews
341 helpful votes 341 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

This character filled library is like stepping back in time. I doubt much has changed since it was new and they like it that way. It has become a place of pilgrimage to visit the bust of the famously reclusive RI writer, HP Lovecraft.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fresno, California, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

The self-guided tour is a fun pit stop on your walking tour of Providence. Book nerds and literary enthusiasts will get a kick out of the historical relevance and stacks.

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New York City
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

We had already had this on our list after seeing the photo in the June 2014 Architectural Digest and just stumbled upon it. Inside, I thought "oh my God, I'm on the set in The Music Man for Marian the Librarian!". Thrilling, in a ssshhh way. Charming, inspiring, hushed. Lovely special children's area. Unless you're going to sit and enjoy... More 

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Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Beautiful library. Old fashioned card catalogue, some of the entries handwritten. Could have spent all day here.

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Florida
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
14 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Lovely, old style library set amidst the most historical setting in Providence. It was definitely a set back in time for me.

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Matawan, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

They had such great books and as an avid reader I didn't want to leave. I love to walk around and explore and I never went to an Athanaeum before. It's very quiet and I love that.

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Boskoop, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
208 reviews 208 reviews
55 attraction reviews
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Nice place to visit iff you like libraries. Is somewhat small but it breaths books and history. You can walk in free of charge.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?