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 Shaw Research Library & Randall Gallery are open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Please wear a mask during your visit to the Athenaeum.


December 9, 2021
  • Reading Room Tour

    December 9, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    Tour the historic first-floor Reading Room. Donations suggested.

  • CANCELED: Author Mike Dater

    December 9, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Portsmouth Athenaeum, 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801, USA


    Proprietor Mike Dater will give a talk and sign copies of his newest book, The Godawful Years: He Came, He Stole, He Wrecked: A Survey of the Bedlam. Compiled in part from Mr. Dater’s cartoons in The New Hampshire Gazette, the book demonstrates the author’s unique talent for expressing horror through humor.

    This is an in-person event, and masks are required. 

    To sign up for this in-person event, please call 603-431-2538 or email 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.

John Forti, the Heirloom Gardener

John Forti, the Heirloom Gardener

Join us for a virtual talk by John Forti from his new book The Heirloom Gardener: Traditional Plants and Skills for the Modern World. Mr. Forti is a garden historian, horticulturist, and ethnobotanist. He has directed gardens for Plimoth Plantation Museum, Strawberry Banke Museum, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and Bedrock Gardens.

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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.