Portsmouth Athenæum

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

The third-floor Shaw Research Library and Randall Gallery are open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday thru Saturday. For elevator access, please call (603) 431-2538.

Check our calendar for tours of the first-floor Sawtelle Reading Room.


May 30, 2024
  • Tour of Sawtelle Reading Room

    May 30, 2024 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    The first-floor Sawtelle Reading Room in the 1805 building is open for tours. Donations accepted.

  • CURRENT EVENTS LECTURE SERIES: 50 Years after the defeat of the Proposed Onassis Oil Refinery

    May 30, 2024 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Portsmouth Athenaeum, 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801, USA

    The Current Events Lecture Series features a conversation with Proprietor Dudley Dudley and Ashleigh Tucker, Associate Executive Director of the Music Hall, celebrating 50 years since the defeat of the Onassis oil refinery proposed for Durham. 

    Program begins at 5:30 pm in the Shaw Research Library of the Portsmouth Athenaeum at 9 Market Square in Portsmouth, NH. Reservations are required as seating is limited.

    Attendance at programs is free for Athenaeum Proprietors, Subscribers and Friends. Guests and members of the public are welcome to attend the entire series by becoming a Friend of the Athenaeum for as little as $25 per year, payable at the door. Admission to an individual program is $15.



Shaw Research Library &

Randall Gallery


Tuesday through Saturday


1 to 4 p.m.



Reading Room Tours

Volunteer Dependent
Saturdays &
1 to 2 p.m.
(Check our calendar.)


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.

Portsmouth Athenaeum Chamber Music 2024

Portsmouth Athenaeum Chamber Music 2024

The Portsmouth Athenaeum presents this annual series of chamber music concerts held in historic venues around Portsmouth. This year, the public is invited to attend the following four chamber concerts:NEAVE TRIO SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 3 p.m. The Dance Hall, Kittery, Maine...

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New Books in the Library

New Books in the Library

Spring into a good book! Proprietors and Subscribers, click on the link below to discover the new books now available in the library. Not a Proprietor or a Subscriber? Find out how you can become a member and support the Athenaeum. Click the button below.

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Spring 2024 Newsletter

Spring 2024 Newsletter

Find out how Athenaeum Photographic Collections Manager James Smith pieced together a puzzle, putting online more than 1,800 images of buildings photographed decades ago by the Portsmouth Advocates. Plus, meet Athenaeum President Jeff Keefe and more than 30 new...

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