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Redwood Library & Athenaeum

50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840
401 847 0292
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Ranked #13 of 67 Attractions in Newport
Type: Libraries, Art Galleries, Gardens, Historic Sites
Description: Dating back to 1750, this is the oldest subscription library in the United States.
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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
10 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014 NEW

A wonderful building dating back to the 18th Century, the Redwood is a book lovers dream. Stately and elegant, it has a large reading room with wide tables filled with the latest periodicals. Book selves line this room and create alcoves in which to sit and read. The library still has a card catalog in those wonderful old little drawers... More

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Guadalajara, Mexico
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

This is the oldest lending library in America. It is well-preserved and has a large collection of colonial era documents. architectural plans, photos, maps and letters of significant historical value. One can become a supporting member of the library, or just get a day pass for a visit. Either way,it is a great way to spend a rainy summer afternoon... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Carnelian Bay, Ca
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
23 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

My grandson was interested in this after reading about it. We walked there from our hotel on Thames in about 20 minutes on a drizzly day. It was a great spot to hang out for an hour or more, looking at exhibits and enjoying all sorts of reading material. It is free, but donations are accepted. The history of the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Needham, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
8 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

The library is worth a visit just to see the paintings and the very different collections.This time they had photos of men in tux over the years that was in glass cases.The real treat was the room with paintings by very famous artists.I recommend this library and it's interesting collections.

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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

Architecture, artwork and a library of refinement. Just lovely and genteel. Worth a visit. And then a cup of tea.

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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
752 reviews 752 reviews
364 attraction reviews
298 helpful votes 298 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

This lovely little private subscription library founded in 1747 'is the oldest community library still occupying its original building in the United States'. It's mostly untouched and totally charming.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
47 attraction reviews
153 helpful votes 153 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2014

We stopped by when the weather was raining not knowing what to expect looking for inside things to do. The library has a lot of history and is worth a stop. There are some famous paintings including a large full length portrait of George Washington. Currently this is an interesting exhibit "Portraits of Interiors – Interior Illustrators in Newport Collections"... More

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Boston, MA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

We stopped in to take a look, and as we fished around for $10 9 "suggested donation" of $5 each for non-members), the woman at the desk watched us. When we dropped the money into the plexiglas box, she approached us to mention that the gallery was closed to prepare for their next exhibition, but that we were free to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Goshen, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Great place to retreat from the busy streets and beaches of newport. My kuds love the puppets and the little playhouses

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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

The oldest continuously operating public library in the country. Lots of history here, particularly of the founding of Newport and the Rhode Island. Check out the lecture series schedule on-line before coming to town, they have some fascinating speakers.

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