We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Providence Athenaeum

251 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903-2709
+1 401-421-6970
Review Highlights
Very cool!

This is a very old private library that is beautiful. There isn't a lot to see, but its a unique... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A sense of history back to 1753, comfort, books, nostalgia, a wonderfully maintained building... read more

Reviewed 11 October 2017
Peter C
Denver, Colorado
Read all 89 reviews
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
One of America's oldest lending libraries established in 1753.
  • Excellent72%
  • Very good21%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
251 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903-2709
College Hill
+1 401-421-6970
Write a Review
Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (89)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 82 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a very old private library that is beautiful. There isn't a lot to see, but its a unique experience.

Thank turbotrevor
Reviewed 11 October 2017

A sense of history back to 1753, comfort, books, nostalgia, a wonderfully maintained building, peace and quiet, an accommodating and helpful staff, nooks and crannies, a short/engaging self guided tour and the feel of "wisdom" from Athena, the goddess of wisdom, herself! Not to be...More

Thank Peter C
Reviewed 10 October 2017

This place has history oozing out of its walls. There are little nooks where you can sit, surrounded by books and read or just enjoy the atmosphere and think (or daydream). The lower level is more like a lounge -lovely leather seats and lighting you...More

Thank Esprit_2012
Reviewed 3 October 2017

I had never wondered what people did before there were public libraries. This is a subscription library with a very extensive collection of books, including a children's area. It is very historic and is still operating. It is worth stopping by for a quick look.

Thank Richard M
Reviewed 28 July 2017

I happened on to this beautiful place, privately funded, and, a tribute to libraries and their collections anywhere! The building is beautiful, the selection of books, reference materials, and, periodicals, is vast! The atmosphere old- worldy, and, very nice. If you love books, and, victorian...More

Thank eventsbythirteen
Reviewed 12 July 2017

You wouldn't tell from it's exterior, but inside is a real architectural gem of a space. Walking into the Athenaeum is like walking back in time. You can almost feel the presence of HP Lovecraft. Even if you're not a library buff, you owe yourself...More

Thank Steven T
Reviewed 11 July 2017

Love this little library. Very cozy. On beautiful Benefit Street across from the Court House. Great books and art work.

Thank Mary K
Reviewed 6 June 2017 via mobile

This is Amazing. And it's always empty. It s One of the most beautiful libraries I have ever been to. I like Providence because it Is extremely civilized. My Father participated in restoring this historical town years ago. I also Curated a Vintage Photograph Show...More

Thank Lisa S
Reviewed 19 April 2017

a sight worth seeing, quaint, short, or spend some time there, historically educational, but you can read and even buy some books today...I spent time glancing a t a guide book that served me well for the Providence area...worth a quick (or longer) stop...

Thank izakthemindful
Reviewed 24 November 2016

What a treasure! Take the self-guided tour of this 19th century library frequented by Edgar Allen Poe, his fiance Rose Whitman ( learn the story of their breakup two days before their wedding), the Franklin Society, and HP Lovecraft. The collection is fascinating and well-worth...More

Thank Meg B
Nearby Restaurants
Hemenway's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar
1,179 reviews
.17 km away
Cafe Nuovo
418 reviews
.40 km away
217 reviews
.34 km away
Mill's Tavern
262 reviews
.35 km away
Nearby Attractions
Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art
760 reviews
.14 km away
Brown University
377 reviews
.19 km away
Benefit Street
166 reviews
.04 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Providence Athenaeum staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines

Recently Reviewed Hotels around Providence