The Boston Athenaeum offers Free Tours of Rare Book Collection


The Boston Athenaeum is offering special free tours of their Rare Books and Manuscripts collection from now through August 2014.  The Athenaeum has acquired many rare and interesting books through generous donations and wants to show them off!  The diverse collection contains an illustrated book about Entomology, theological works dating back to the 17th century and the works of such celebrated authors as T.S. Eliot, Lord Byron and others.

The real heart of the rare book collection is their collection of early American history.  The Athenaeum has early Boston newspapers, early American government documents, publications written in Native American languages and portions of the book collections of George Washington, Henry Knox and other New England area patriots.


The Exhibit also features author manuscripts, for example the papers of architect Charles Bulfinch (Architect of both the MA State House and the US Capitol), painter John Singer Sargent and circus impresario P.T. Barnum.

The Athenaeum is FREE and open to visitors every weekday;

Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Visitors can tour the first floor and galleries at any time during those hours.  The upper floors are available for members only, except for the weekly Art and Architecture tours, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm.  The tour is free, but reservations are required: (617) 227-0270, ext. 221