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Nantucket Athenaeum

The Atheneaum began in 1834 as a private institution with 3,200 volumes. The original building and collection was lost in the Great Fire of 1846.

The current building was designed by architect Frederick Brown Coleman and completed soon after the original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1846.
The Atheneum is an impressive example of the Greek Revival style of architecture. Its elegance is enhanced by the beauty of historic columns, capitals, medallions, and moldings. The Atheneum has had only six librarians and an equally small number of building renovations.

In the year 1900, the Nantucket Atheneum became a free public library which currently maintains a 40,000 volume collection.

The building has hosted such historic luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Horace Greeley, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, and Maria Mitchell. Continuing in that tradition, the library has hosted these speakers in the past few years: Stephen E. Ambrose, Lisa Norling, Henry Louis Gates Jr., David McCullough, and Nathaniel Philbrick.


Need to know

Address: 1 India Street

Organization: Nantucket Atheneum

Telephone: 508-228-1110

Website: www.nantucketatheneum.org


9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Mon, Weds, Fri, Sat

9:30 a.m.- 8 p.m. Tues, Thurs