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Providence Athenaeum

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Address: 251 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903-2709
Phone Number: 401-421-6970
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

One of America's oldest lending libraries established in 1753.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 75 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 52
  • 11
    Very good
  • 6
  • 0
  • 1
Old and quant

This is a little library but worth a couple of minutes to see how it was done in early New England. The stacks are all open and standing at the door you can see all but the... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed August 22, 2016
Weston, Connecticut
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75 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 70: English reviews
Weston, Connecticut
Level Contributor
116 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2016

This is a little library but worth a couple of minutes to see how it was done in early New England. The stacks are all open and standing at the door you can see all but the bottom floor. It is pretty and old fashioned in a good way.

Thank Joe1234665
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
70 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2016

This is a beautiful, historical & small library, created by people of culture! It is restful and inviting place to read, rest, look at books. The inside was so thoughtfully constructed, it must have been a place of pride for the founders back in the day. Lovely place to visit. Beautifully maintained.

1 Thank 4adventure
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2016

It is definately worth a ten minute walk thru this beautiful old library located a block or two away from Brown University.

Thank phillys53933
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2016

You can guide yourself trough this tiny, yet very cosy and unique library. There are folders with a raven on it that tell you where to go.

Thank Curlygirlabroad_1
Hadley, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2016

No computers. No media centers. An interior essentially unchanged probably since the 1930s. Books and art, art and books, stashed in a beautiful old building with a friendly and helpful staff. And really cool stuff about Lovecraft (Providence's own) and Poe, too. Rare book room by appointment (I didn't make one and didn't go in). NOT wheelchair-accessible.

Thank ShelHorowitz
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2016

Want to feel back to the 19th Century? When people could read the newspapers in a large armchair and have a view on a garden? That's the place, only Edgar Poe will not be smoking his cigar there. Incidentally become a member and find an old book.

Thank An V
Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
79 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2016

From quiet stacks to study in, to original card catalogs dating to 1900, and a rare collection room, this library is a must-see for those looking for something different in Providence. The staff is also very friendly and helpful!

Thank familymemory
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level Contributor
396 reviews
168 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 522 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2016

The Athenaeum is a member-supported library and cultural center on the east side of the river. The building is a small architectural Greek Revival on Benefit Street, a short walk from the first Baptist Meetinghouse in America.

Thank Lynn1950
Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2016

This was the best! Of course I am a retired librarian, so I may be biased. Great Edgar Allen Poe exhibit. And the card catalogs with hand written cards were fascinating... Cozy seating downstairs. Much better than the John Hay library in the same area...

3 Thank NancyWMorton
New York
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2016 via mobile

A charming public library with two floors of stacks and one floor as a reading room. An open floor plan and cute decor. Highly recommend!

1 Thank Katie O

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