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.

Portsmouth Athenaeum

Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 9 Market Sq, Portsmouth, NH 03801-4011
Phone Number: 603 431-2538
Website
Description:

This library was established in 1817 and has a noteworthy collection of...

This library was established in 1817 and has a noteworthy collection of rare and old publications.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 20 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 12
    Excellent
  • 4
    Very good
  • 0
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
A hidden gem in Market Square

So many people walk by this place and never venture up the three flights. The library alone is worth visiting as well as the temporary exhibits. The most recent special exhibit... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Steve N
,
Chicago
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

20 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Showing 17: English reviews
Chicago
Level Contributor
67 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

So many people walk by this place and never venture up the three flights. The library alone is worth visiting as well as the temporary exhibits. The most recent special exhibit features black and white photos of important homes in the area. Make the effort to find this gem in Market Square!

Helpful?
Thank Steve N
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A researcher James gave us a wonderful walking tour while the athenaeum was under construction. Books, artwork, nautical history and curiosities from around the globe. I would recommend this hidden market square gem to art and book enthusiasts.

Helpful?
Thank Lindsey B
Flagstaff, Arizona
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2016

We'd scheduled time to visit this amazing historic library and had taken a look online and knew that it was a special place but even then a look at the inner sanctum of this historic building took my breath away. I found a precious historic diary from 1838 written by someone in the family I'm researching which made my visit... More 

Helpful?
Thank RVtraveller2016
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
178 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2016

This is a quirky little museum/library that is wonderful - if you are into history and historical records - particularly of early New England and Portsmouth. It's not a destination or entertainment mecca to bring the kids - it's way old school so be aware. Right in the heart of Market Square so drop on in, but know what you... More 

Helpful?
Thank rscimagery
Exeter, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
55 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2016

We went for the Art Round Town night and really enjoyed the old photos and architecture. So great to be able to get in. Totally recommend it.

Helpful?
Thank anadamamanda
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2016

The Athenaeum holds a wide variety of fascinating archives and books about Portsmouth, its history, and its culture. On a rainy afternoon you can settle into a comfortable chair and immerse yourself in the past. From time to time they will have special exhibits. The staff are friendly and helpful. Check their hours online.

Helpful?
Thank Malduf
Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
119 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2016

The historic Reading Room opens up onto Market Square and is an elegant reminder of historic Portsmouth.

Helpful?
Thank J S
dennisport, ma
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

very knowledgeable staff who help with your research. appointment may be required. centrally located in downtown Portsmouth, a good stop if visiting the city

Helpful?
Thank Janet C
Millville, DE
Level Contributor
197 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015

My neighbor is a member and I was privileged to visit with him at a time that the Library was not open to the public. The prints and paintings in the lobby are rare and a visual history of the area and its seagoing traditions. As a collector of rare books, I was overwhelmed by the collection of books. There... More 

Helpful?
4 Thank bankruptcy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2015

Cool place, would definitely miss it if you were not looking for it. Really awesome exhibit on Victorian fashion and history.

Helpful?
Thank kjjjohnston

Travelers who viewed Portsmouth Athenaeum also viewed

 

Been to Portsmouth Athenaeum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Portsmouth Athenaeum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?