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  • Miss Chamberlain and Mr. Baxter
    H. Louise Chamberlan (library staff) and Charles Newcomb Baxter (library assistant) outside at the Granary Burying Ground, 1912.
  • Staff at desk
    Priscilla H. Fowle, on the fourth floor, reference, 1921-2.
  • Staff on 5th floor with art
    Art class on the 5th floor, 1929
  • Staff playing croquet
    Staff, including Librarian Charles Knowles Bolton, playing croquet at Pond Hill, Shirley, on 30th of June, 1920.
  • Staff at ALA
    Staff members, Mary Ellen Wilder, Evelyn M. Coker, Louise Greenwood Stewart, Beulah Hollidge, Gladys Sands and Elinor Gregory at the 1921 American Library Association meeting held at Swampscott.
  • Staff
    Library staff with Librarian Charles Knowles Bolton on the 5th floor terrace in 1923.
  • Staff in Granary
    Etta Lebreton Rabardy, Linda Frobisher Wildman and Mable F.  Barnum sitting in the Granary Burying Ground in 1912.
  • Staff on terrace
    Standing left to right: Gerald, Light, Bowie, Johnson, unidentified. Sitting left to right: Graham, Keith and Chamber on the 5th floor terrace on the 10th of April 1917.


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 Archive

Louisa May Alcott and others

George Kendall Warren (d. 1884), [Louisa May Alcott], ca. 1880. Cabinet photograph. Boston Athenaeum. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur H. Brooks, 1996.
Finding Louisa May Alcott's name in a Ticket Holders' volume

Archibald Henry Grimké

image from Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
Archibald Henry Grimké (1849-1930) listed as a reader for June 1887

Louisa May Alcott Charging Record 1871

Boston Athenaeum Books Borrowed. B. A. 17, Volume 25, 1871.  Photo by: Alexandra Winzeler
Archivist, Carolle R. Morini, examines Boston Athenæum’s  Books Borrowed volumes


From the Archive: The Athenæum Librarian, the Freed Slave, and "Our Friend A.L."
The Athenæum Librarian, the Freed Slave, and "Our Friend A.L."


Purnell to Gregory, May 12, 1941
The Boston Athenæum and the London Library business correspondence