The Providence Athenaeum, Providence

4.6
#5 of 9 in Historic Sites in Providence
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.
Use our Providence trip website to visit The Providence Athenaeum on your trip to Providence, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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The Providence Athenaeum Reviews
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85 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • October 3, 2017
    I had never wondered what people did before there were public libraries. This is a subscription library with a very extensive collection of books, including a children's area. It is very historic and ...  more »
  • July 28, 2017
    I happened on to this beautiful place, privately funded, and, a tribute to libraries and their collections anywhere! The building is beautiful, the selection of books, reference materials, and, period...  more »
  • July 11, 2017
    You wouldn't tell from it's exterior, but inside is a real architectural gem of a space. Walking into the Athenaeum is like walking back in time. You can almost feel the presence of HP Lovecraft. Even...  more »
Google
  • June 15, 2017
    This library oozes charm and whimsy. It's the kind of place I've only ever imagined existing in the past, but preserved beautifully to this day. I can't wait for my next visit!
  • April 9, 2017
    Perfect place to study. Friendly to the general public, just stop by and find something you like to read, or study. It's really quiet.
  • April 12, 2017
    I'm not a member here but it was fun visiting. Lots of character and it was fun to just walk around and take in the atmosphere.
  • September 14, 2016
    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!
  • May 30, 2016
    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.

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Where to stay in Providence

Most of the guest beds in Providence lie in and around downtown; this is the most convenient area to stay in during your visit. Right downtown you'll find a handful of large hotels from national chains. Rooms here can be pricey, but many offer sweeping views of Providence Harbor. Federal Hill features a few locally owned inns, bed and breakfasts, and small hotels in historical buildings. You'll find additional homey establishments around the State House just north of downtown and the College Hill area across the Providence River to the east. Avoid the South Providence area and East Providence across the Seekonk River.
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