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The Providence Athenaeum, Providence
(4.5/5 based on 75+ reviews on the web)
The Providence Athenaeum, a unique independent, member-supported library and cultural center, welcomes and enriches the educational and cultural pursuits of its members and the community and encourages a diverse public to engage in spirited conversation. It offers a wide range of experiences by providing and conserving extraordinary collections, offering innovative and compelling programs, promoting and collaborating with the community's vibrant cultural sector, and highlighting and preserving its historic building.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • What a treasure! Take the self-guided tour of this 19th century library frequented by Edgar Allen Poe, his fiance Rose Whitman ( learn the story of their breakup two days before their wedding), the Fr...  more »
  • This was a lovely little find. It's a wonderful old library with quiet spaces to read or study. Worth visiting if you're in the neighbourhood of Brown University, it's really charming. 
  • Really a very nice space. Quiet, hushed voices. Creaky floor boards, incandescent lighting and old card index system. Reminds me of libraries of my childhood. 
Google
  • Absolutely incredible and fantastic. Would recommend for anyone in the area to stop and walk around the building! One of the most beautiful, well-preserved and functioning libraries I've ever seen. I love the mix of busts, old card catalogues, and new releases!
  • Neat place but: They have a bust honoring a man who called for the gassing of immigrants and praised the KKK. The bust is in a prominent place. No, it's not a historical holdover from the early days of the library, they put it up in 2012 (I think). Pretty dumb for people that run a building holding books written by smart people.
  • This is a gem in Providence. It may not be a top attraction, but worth stopping in if you are in the area. It's amazing to have such an old, unique institute tucked away in the shadow of Brown. Go up to the second floor on the north side and see a more than century old desk from the Capitol!
  • The Providence Athenaeum was one of the highlights from our long weekend trip to Providence. This is a stunning library with a rich history conveniently located in the heart of the city. Stop along a walking tour of the canal area or Brown University. I was able to wander the main hall, the second floor walkways, all the hidden corners, and the lower level reading room to my content. This place is a bibliophile's dream or even the perfect place for a student to study. It's a great stop to capture some great photos and aborb the history that surrounds you in Providence. Tip: Easy street parking is availble in front for free up to 2 hours if the back lot is full. Highly recommended!
  • This imposing building houses the oldest, private book lending collection in the country.