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.


January 24, 2021
  • 202nd Portsmouth Athenaeum Annual Meeting via Zoom

    January 24, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    Open to members of the Portsmouth Athenaeum. 
    For more information and the Zoom link, please contact Keeper Thomas Hardiman at info@portsmouthathenaeum.org



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 Author Talk with Journalist Lou Salome

Zoom Author Talk with Journalist Lou Salome

Reminder: During the pandemic, most of us are familiar with unavoidable isolation; however, in pre-pandemic times, local author and journalist Lou Salome took a self-imposed break from society to live in the woods and write.

Join us this Tuesday for a Zoom talk to learn the process and the final product “Thoreau, the Kid, and Mr. Lou: Book Notes of a Foreign Correspondent.”

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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.