Boston athenaeum


Founded in 1807 as a library and museum "similar to that of the Athenaeum and Lyceum of Liverpool in Great Britain", it has, from that time, played a major role in the cultural life of Boston. The B.A. grew from the Anthology Society, formed in 1805 by Bostonians to publish a magazine, "The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review". The institution had rapid growth, acquiring books, art and artifacts and adding an art gallery for exhibitions of American and European art. By 1851, it had one of the largest libraries in the US, and today has over half a million volumes with emphasis on New England subjects. The B.A. has been housed in a series of buildings, and since 1849, has been in a building on Beacon Street. It has five floors of galleries, and extensive collections of maps, rare books, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, prints and photographs. Since 1966 it has been a National Historic Landmark. Source: