The Providence Athenaeum The Providence Athenaeum

The Providence Athenaeum

For over 200 years, the Providence Athenaeum library and cultural center has welcomed acclaimed writers, illustrious thinkers, and zealous learners to its library on the historic Benefit Street. Today, the institution endures as a testament to the power of the written word and the importance of universal knowledge.


Promoting the Advancement of Learning

The Providence Athenaeum

The Providence Athenaeum derives its lineage from ancient European libraries and communities and from the American ideals of self-reliance and community service (the term 'athenaeum' descends from the Roman emperor Hadrian's first intellectual organization founded in A.D. 133). Since its origin in Providence, the Athenaeum library has been open to the public and welcomes conversation, debate, and a love of learning. The library's wide-ranging collection – comprised of rare and contemporary literature – covers nearly three centuries of compositions. Along with hosting authors, poets, and film presentations, the Athenaeum possesses an eclectic art and artifact collection comprised of over 150 sculptures, paintings, and archival documents ranging from the eighteenth century to the present day, with the mission to "enrich the mind, inspire the spirit, and elevate the public discourse."

GRoW Support


General Operating Support