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June 10, 2022

For more than 200 years the library has been a gathering spot for writers and intellectuals. Now a thoughtful renovation aims to preserve it as a place for future generations to become part of history simply by walking in the door.

May 13, 2022

We were excited to see the Boston Athenæum featured in the Financial Times' list of "the world's most wonderful private libraries." They placed 10 1/2 Beacon Street in the company of such libraries as Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, the Girolamini Library in Naples, Italy, and The Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

November 15, 2021

The Boston Athenæum announces the appointment of curator and scholar Lauren Graves for a two-year period.

November 8, 2021

The Pop-Up Holiday Book Shop is back—on November 20!

Come for the best gift book recommendations in town. Feel a festive spirit with cocoa, cookies, and free gift-wrapping!

Admission to the Athenæum's first floor is free for this special event.

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September 21, 2021

Dante in Boston marks Dante Alighieri's 700th anniversary

On view through December 30, 2021

The Athenæum presents highlights from the special collections related to Dante Alighieri, celebrating a major anniversary of one of the great poets of world literature with a display of seven centuries of fine printing and rarely-seen books.

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June 21, 2021

Boston Athenæum Receives $75,000 from the Terra Foundation for American Art to Reinstall Special Collections

The Terra Foundation for American Art has awarded $75,000 from its Re-envisioning Permanent Collections grant program to the Boston Athenæum. The award will support the reinstallation of artworks on the building’s first floor, which is open to the public.

The Athenæum will reinterpret and reimagine the display of the permanent collections, bringing forward a diverse selection of artworks including more work by and of women and people of color. The reinstalled first floor will tell a broader story about American history and the history of art, drawing on the wealth of the Athenæum’s lesser-known, historically significant, and recently acquired holdings. 

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April 16, 2021

In Memoriam: Rodney Armstrong, Director and Librarian, 1973-1996

With sadness, the Boston Athenæum announces the passing of longtime Director and Librarian Rodney Armstrong. His tenure at the BA, fondly remembered by so many in our community, extended for 23 years, from 1973 through 1996...   

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News Archive

June 3, 2020

Message from the Director

The events of the past nine days, since the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, have been emotionally devastating. This moment follows the tragic deaths of too many other African American people who have died in days and centuries past because of their race. I’m writing today to acknowledge the pain being felt in our Athenæum community, in Boston, and across the United States....


Full message (PDF)


May 1, 2020

Leah Rosovsky Appointed Stanford Calderwood Director of the Boston Athenæum

The Boston Athenæum announces the appointment of Leah Rosovsky as Stanford Calderwood Director, becoming the seventeenth leader in the Athenæum’s 213-year history. Rosovsky, who served as Vice President for Strategies and Programs at Harvard University until 2019, will assume her role at the Athenæum later this month.


March 2020

COVID-19 response

The Athenæum closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.


February 7, 2020

Athenæum makes historic Harriet Hayden Albums available to community of Boston and beyond


January 21, 2020

Athenæum receives $182,500 National Endowment for the Humanities grant for conservation lab

News Release

June 1, 2019
"Required Reading: Reimagining a Colonial Library" Opens September 17, 2019
Exhibition will explore Boston's colonial history, fine crafts of bookbinding and furniture-making, and meaning of "essential knowledge"

News Release

May 29, 2019: Feature story about the Harriet Hayden albums by Danna Lorch on
May 10, 2019: Broadcast feature on George Washington's personal library on "Chronicle," WCVB-Channel 5
"City-Savvy Quiz: Preservation of America's Pastime" (Athenæum story starts at about 2:00, after a baseball story)
March 11, 2019: Theo Tyson Appointed Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art at the Boston Athenæum
February 8, 2019: Boston Athenæum Director Elizabeth Barker to Step Down This Spring
November 27, 2018: This Saturday: Pop-Up Holiday Bookshop at the Athenæum
October 30, 2018: Boston Athenæum Showcases Rare Holdings From and About Venice

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August 25, 2017: Boston Athenæum Exhibition, Thomas Buford Meteyard (1865-1928): Travels through Impressionism, Is First in an American Museum to Showcase Work of Important American Impressionist, Opening October 25

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March 16, 2017: Boston Athenæum to Showcase Local Contemporary Artists in New England on Paper: Contemporary Art in the Boston Athenæum's Prints & Photographs Collections, Opening April 6

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February 17, 2017: Boston Athenæum Welcomes Acclaimed Children's Book Author-Illustrator and Fine Artist Duo Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

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January 16, 2017: Landmark Gift of WWII Graphic Arts Collection by Athenæum Proprietor Richard W. Cheek Enhances Institution’s Collection of Wartime Visual Materials

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November 8, 2016: Boston Athenæum Hosts Pulitzer Prize-Winning American Composer and Pianist Yehudi Wyner for Celebratory Concert on Monday, November 21

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September 30, 2016: Daniel Chester French: The Female Form Revealed opens to the public in the Athenæum's Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery on Friday, October 7

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March 29, 2016: Collecting for the Boston Athenæum in the 21st Century: Prints & Photographs opens to the public in the Athenæum’s Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery on Wednesday, April 6

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February 17, 2016: The Proprietors of the Boston Athenæum Elect John S. Reed as 23rd President of the Board of Trustees

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October 28, 2015: Collecting for the Boston Athenæum in the 21st Century: Maps, Charts, & Plans, opens to the public on Tuesday, November 3

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January 22, 2015: American Neoclassic Sculpture at the Boston Athenæum Opens February 26; Leading Collection Exhibited Together for the First Time

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Images from the Exhibition

August 19, 2014: Over Here: World War I Posters From Around the World opens at the Boston Athenæum September 10, 2014

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Images from the Exhibition