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Boston Athenaeum

WhatToDoNearby - Boston Athenaeum

10 1/2 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108

Telephone: (617) 227-0270

THE BOSTON ATHENÆUM, one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries in the United States, was founded in 1807 by members of the Anthology Society. This was a group of fourteen Bostonian men who put together The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review, beginning in 1805. The purpose was to closely form an organization similar to the Athenæum and Lyceum in Great Britain, joining the advantages of a public library while containing the great works of learning and science in all tongues. By 1851 the Anthenaeum became one of the five largest libraries in the United States. Today its collections consist of over half a million volumes. Certain large concentrations include Boston history, New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine arts.