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.


October 27, 2020
  • Virtual Athenaeum Tea

    October 27, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    A virtual Athenaeum tea for new members and current members. Join in to meet the talented people who have recently signed on as Proprietors and Subscribers.

    To attend, contact info@portsmouthathenaeum.org for the Zoom link. 

October 29, 2020
  • ZOOM: Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement

    October 29, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    ONLINE Local History Talk
    Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement
    with Liz Tentarelli
    Thursday October 29
    7 – 8:30 PM

    Learn about the history of the Suffrage movement and its ties to New Hampshire, co-sponsored and hosted by the Portsmouth Public Library.

    The campaign for women’s right to vote was a long one, from the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, to ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. Who were the key players in New Hampshire and the nation? What issues and obstacles did they face? How did suffragists benefit from World War I in the final push for passage of the women’s suffrage amendment? Who was left out when women got the right to vote? Using historic photos and documents, Liz Tentarelli will guide us on the journey. Liz is president of the League of Women Voters NH, a non-partisan organization that is the direct descendant of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

    No registration required. Click this link https://zoom.us/j/9491308975?pwd=RFl4THdMQnR4VGIrbmdRVEpGMjcwZz09 to connect via Zoom. Password: 3GWdHC

    Liz Tentarelli had a career spanning over 30 years teaching high school and college students, including 19 years at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. Liz has been a member of the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, for more than 25 years and president of the state League since 2009. The League is a direct descendant organization of the women’s suffrage movement. Liz was appointed in 2015 by Governor Maggie Hassan to serve on the Citizens Advisory Board to the NH Correctional Facility for Women. She has presented courses on the issues surrounding female incarceration through Adventures in Learning (Colby-Sawyer College) and OLLI in Concord and Manchester. Liz has held appointed offices in two town governments and served 12 years as an elected library trustee in Newbury, NH. In 2016 she joined the board of the NH Library Trustees Association, where she now serves on the Education Committee.

    For additional information, please contact Cathryn Czajkowski at 603-766-1723 orcfczajkowsk@cityofportsmouth.com



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.

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.