The Athenæum maintains not only its own, but also the institutional archive of two earlier Boston cultural institutions, the Anthology Society and the Boston Library Society; the Boston Library Society merged with the Athenæum in 1939.
The Boston Library Society records include information on early members, catalogs, and reading lists from this early Boston institution. The Anthology Society records chronicle the evolution of a small group of scholars who became the founders of the Boston Athenæum. As the founders and proprietors of the Athenæum were also the dynamic builders of Federal Boston, the Athenæum archive preserves crucial records relative to 18th- and early 19th-century literary and cultural development in the city. Taken together, this archive provides a complete and unbroken record of Boston cultural development from 1792 to the present day.
For inquires about the archive, please contact Carolle R. Morini, the Caroline D. Bain Archivist, Reference Librarian.
Further reading about the Boston Athenæum
The Boston Athenæum Bicentennial Essays, edited by Richard Wendorf. Boston Athenæum, 2009.
Acquired Tastes: 200 years of Collecting for the Boston Athenæum, curated by Stanley Ellis Cushing, David B. Dearinger. Boston Athenæum, 2006.
The Athenæum Centenary. The influence and history of the Boston Athenæum from 1807 to 1907, by Bolton, Charles Knowles. Boston Athenæum, 1907. (58 MB download)
The Boston Library Society, 1794-1994 : an exhibition of portraits, views, and materials related to the foundation of the society and some of its early members, by Michael Wentworth with Elizabeth Lamb Clark. Boston Athenæum, 1995.
Journal of the proceedings of the Society, which conducts the Monthly Anthology and Boston Review, October 3, 1805 to July 2, 1811, introduction by M. A. DeWolfe Howe. Boston Athenæum, 1910.