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Take a Tour

Building Orientation Tours

For members ONLY

Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12:00 p.m.

Designed for new members and current members who would like a refresher, these tours will introduce you to  the Athenæum's grand, historic building at 10 ½ Beacon Street and familiarize you with the various library and research services that are available to all members.

Tours begin at noon sharp. Please meet at the Circulation Desk on the first floor.

Reservations are not necessary.


Art and Architecture Tours

Open to the public

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00 p.m.

These docent-led, hour-long tours focus on the architectural history of the Athenæum’s building and on the institution’s fine arts collection. The Athenæum’s current home—its fifth—opened in 1849 and has been expanded and renovated twice, once in 1913-1915 and again recently in 1999-2002.

The Athenæum’s collection of fine art is one of the most significant to have been formed in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century, and many paintings and sculptures from it are on view throughout the building. Many of these will be discussed during the tour.

Reservations are required.
Please call 617-227-0270, ext. 221
Tours are limited in size, so book early. 


Special Tours

With sufficient notice, members and the public are invited to request group tours for conceivably any time during our regular hours of operation.  These tours are limited to fourteen visitors, are subject to the availability of docents, and cost $5.00 per person.

For further information, please contact


Family Tours

For members ONLY

Tours are limited in size and must be booked in advance. Click here for more details.