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Providence Athenaeum

251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903 (College Hill)
401-421-6970
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Ranked #11 of 70 Attractions in Providence
Type: Libraries, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
Description: One of America's oldest lending libraries established in 1753.
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    34
    8
    4
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Fresno, California, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
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
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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
3 helpful votes 3 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
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
13 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 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
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 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
206 reviews 206 reviews
55 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 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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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

Great library with great collections. Several activities that are open to the public and a fairly active children's library. It is truly a lovely library!

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Banning, California
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

Someone said "A further reason to visit the Athenaeum is to see the bronze bust of H. P. Lovecraft there by by Bryan Moore of Arkham Studios. It was unveiled in August 2013," They declined to mention he is a Rev. in the Church of Satan so I hardly think that part of this great destination is something to celebrate!

Was this review helpful? Yes 10
North Scituate, Rhode Island
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

The children's space is wonderful and separate from the rest of the library so you are not as worried about your children disturbing other patrons. Staff is wonderful and I love the playroom with blocks, art supplies and other fun stuff. My 4 year old loves it here and so do I. Something about a historic, classic library just makes... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Providence, Rhode Island
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

This is a library as libraries should be, with rows of old and new books and periodicals, knowledgeable librarians, and nooks where you can curl up and read. The Friday afternoon Salons are a signature Providence event. It's member-supported but open to the public (though only members can take books out).

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