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.


June 8: CLOSED for Market Square Day.


June 18, 2024
  • Athenaeum CLOSED

    June 18, 2024

    The Athenaeum is closed to the public due to a staff event.

June 19, 2024
  • 2024 LECTURE SERIES: "Civics 101: What We're Taught and What We're Not" with Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice

    June 19, 2024 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Portsmouth Athenaeum, 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801, USA

    Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice, co-hosts of NHPR's podcast Civics 101, will present Civics 101: What We're Taught and What We're Not. In their podcast, McCarthy and Capodice talk about the state of civics education in America today for both school kids and adults. They will talk about what they teach, what they don’t, why so much of what was learned about America is not true and what to do about it. Civics 101 was created as "Schoolhouse Rock for adults," a way to reinforce civic learning received in our respective middle and high schools. McCarthy and Capodice have met with lots of teachers around the country to see what they're teaching in modern classes, expecting to hear a variant of what  had been taught. However, it was quickly made apparent that, while the kids are alright and in good hands, it is the adults who need the education. Every episode of the podcast uncovers a myth, oversimplification, or flat-out inaccuracy.

    Hannah McCarthy has worked with Civics 101 since 2016. Prior to that she was a State House and Couch Fellow reporter with NHPR and journalist in Brooklyn, New York. Nick Capodice has worked with Civics 101 since 2017. Prior to his time at NHPR, Nick worked in the education department of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, telling the stories of American newcomers. Nick and Hannah have co-created hundreds of episodes, and their podcast has been downloaded over 26 million times. Civics 101 has won regional and national awards, including the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel for a series on landmark Supreme Court cases.

    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.
    If unable to keep a reservation, please call again to release the seat for someone else. 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.

    The lecture series this year is sponsored by Whole Wealth Management.



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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