We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Providence Athenaeum

251 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903-2709
+1 401-421-6970
Website
Save
Review Highlights
Fantastic!

A sense of history back to 1753, comfort, books, nostalgia, a wonderfully maintained building... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Peter C
,
Denver, Colorado
Total bliss!

This place has history oozing out of its walls. There are little nooks where you can sit... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Esprit_2012
,
Chicago, Illinois
Read all 87 reviews
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Overview
More
One of America's oldest lending libraries established in 1753.
  • Excellent73%
  • Very good20%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION
251 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903-2709
College Hill
CONTACT
Website
+1 401-421-6970
Write a Review
Reviews (87)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

1 - 10 of 81 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

A sense of history back to 1753, comfort, books, nostalgia, a wonderfully maintained building, peace and quiet, an accommodating and helpful staff, nooks and crannies, a short/engaging self guided tour and the feel of "wisdom" from Athena, the goddess of wisdom, herself! Not to be...More

Thank Peter C
Reviewed 1 week ago

This place has history oozing out of its walls. There are little nooks where you can sit, surrounded by books and read or just enjoy the atmosphere and think (or daydream). The lower level is more like a lounge -lovely leather seats and lighting you...More

Thank Esprit_2012
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 is still operating. It is worth stopping by for a quick look.

Thank Richard M
Reviewed 28 July 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, periodicals, is vast! The atmosphere old- worldy, and, very nice. If you love books, and, victorian...More

Thank eventsbythirteen
Reviewed 12 July 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 if you're not a library buff, you owe yourself...More

Thank Steven T
Reviewed 12 July 2017

Love this little library. Very cozy. On beautiful Benefit Street across from the Court House. Great books and art work.

Thank Mary K
Reviewed 6 June 2017 via mobile

This is Amazing. And it's always empty. It s One of the most beautiful libraries I have ever been to. I like Providence because it Is extremely civilized. My Father participated in restoring this historical town years ago. I also Curated a Vintage Photograph Show...More

Thank Lisa S
Reviewed 19 April 2017

a sight worth seeing, quaint, short, or spend some time there, historically educational, but you can read and even buy some books today...I spent time glancing a t a guide book that served me well for the Providence area...worth a quick (or longer) stop...

Thank izakthemindful
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...More

Thank Meg B
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
Nearby
Nearby Restaurants
Hemenway's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar
1,159 reviews
.17 km away
Circe
211 reviews
.34 km away
Mill's Tavern
262 reviews
.35 km away
Harry's Bar & Burger - Main St
222 reviews
.38 km away
Nearby Attractions
Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art
754 reviews
.14 km away
Brown University
372 reviews
.19 km away
Benefit Street
165 reviews
.04 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Providence Athenaeum staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines
Submit