We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Redwood Library & Athenaeum

50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840
401 847 0292
Improve this listing
Ranked #18 of 66 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.
Write a Review

23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Needham, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
648 reviews 648 reviews
314 attraction reviews
272 helpful votes 272 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
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
41 attraction reviews
149 helpful votes 149 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Boston, MA
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 helpful votes 17 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 1
Goshen, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
16 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
New Providence, New Jersey
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
77 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

A must stop. This is one of the oldest libraries in the country...and the interior art work is proof alone. I love seeing original art work that I last saw in my history books. A must stop when in town

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Brooklyn, New York
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

This library is housed in a building from the 1700s. The exhibitions, historical portraits and collections are excellent. Worth a visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
28 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Incredible library dating back to 1747, technically the oldest lending library in the country. Guided tours daily at 2pm for $5 was a bargain, spent about 40 minutes with a docent who was extremely knowledgeable and quite personable. If this sort of thing appeals to you, the Redwood will not disappoint.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Redwood Library & Athenaeum also viewed


Been to Redwood Library & Athenaeum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Redwood Library & Athenaeum, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing