Portsmouth Athenæum

A non-profit membership library, gallery, and museum, incorporated in 1817 and located in the heart of historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Armsden Photographic Project

In 2018, the Athenaeum received the photographic collection of prolific photographer Douglas J. Armsden (1918-2009). This collection of mainly mid-20th century images of Portsmouth will nearly double the Athenaeum’s entire photograph collection. Find out how you can help preserve this important collection.

The Research Library and Randall Gallery are now open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. by appointment only.

No walk-ins. Please contact us in advance to schedule your visit by calling 603-431-2538 or emailing info@portsmouthathenaeum.org.


September 27, 2020
  • The Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival

    September 27, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Portsmouth Athenaeum, 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801, USA

    **CANCELED/POSTPONED. We will alert you of a possible make up date for this event. Stay safe.** 

    The Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival will feature cameo concerts in the Athenaeum Reading Room from 1 to 5 p.m.



Shaw Research Library &

Randall Gallery


Tuesday through Saturday


1 to 4 p.m.


The Athenæum houses an outstanding collection of documents and artifacts relating to local history. It also preserves what is undoubtedly the finest collection in the state of materials relating to the history of New Hampshire’s only major seaport.

ZOOM PROGRAM: The Life, Times and Political Career of Levi Woodbury

ZOOM PROGRAM: The Life, Times and Political Career of Levi Woodbury

Online history talk on the “The Life, Times and Political Career of Levi Woodbury” by John “Jack” P. McGee. As a Portsmouth youth, Jack would play across from the aging Woodbury mansion on Woodbury Avenue. Long after the building’s demolition and while in law school, Jack realized just how important Levi Woodbury (1789-1851) was to the history of US law and the impact on the country.

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We, the Proprietors of the Portsmouth Athenaeum, associate to promote learning and advance useful knowledge among our constituents and the wider community by facilitating convivial interchange and intellectual discourse; maintaining our historic buildings and library; and collecting and preserving materials relevant to the history and culture of Portsmouth and the Piscataqua Region.