The Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest independent libraries in America. Founded in 1807, the library has a vast circulating book collection from which patrons can borrow through a membership service. It also boasts a rare books collection of over 100,000 volumes, an impressive art collection of sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and more than 100,000 paintings, and a beautiful public gallery.
The library is also home to an extensive research collection, including materials on the American Civil War, as well as an array of unique treasures such as busts of Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Lafayette that were once owned by Thomas Jefferson. In addition, the library has a significant portion of President George Washington's library, which was once housed at Mount Vernon, and original portraits by Gilbert Stuart, Chester Harding, and John Singer Sargent. The magnificent building boasts various styles of architecture, ranging from Renaissance to Palladian and Neoclassical and is located on Beacon Street.
10 ½ Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108, 617-227-0270 Photo: Boston Athenaeum
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