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Providence Athenaeum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number:
+1 401-421-6970
09:00 - 19:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 13:00 - 17:00
Mon - Thu 09:00 - 19:00
Fri - Sat 09:00 - 17:00

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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 78 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 53
  • 13
    Very good
  • 6
  • 0
  • 1
"Nevermore" is Love

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... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 24 November 2016
Meg B
Plano, Texas
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78 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 73: English reviews
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2016

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 Franklin Society, and HP Lovecraft. The collection is fascinating and well-worth examining.

Thank Meg B
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2016 via mobile

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.

Thank something_similar
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
151 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2016

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.

Thank Amy R
Weston, Connecticut
Level Contributor
141 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 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
89 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 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 6 August 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
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 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
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 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
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 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
84 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 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

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