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.


October 24, 2021
  • PCAM 2021: Noree Chamber Soloists

    October 24, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    St. John's Episcopal Church, 101 Chapel St, Portsmouth, NH 03801, USA

    The Noree Chamber Soloists are an elite roster of New York-based young classical musicians, who themselves are on prestigious world stages and winners of top international competitions. They team together to perform chamber music programs that have won such praise as “musicality of high order" and "exquisite sensitivity" from the New York Concert Review.

    In October, four Noree musicians will perform in Portsmouth: Emilie-Anne Gendron, violin; Emma Frucht, violin; Sung Jin Lee, viola; and Yi Qun Xu, cello. The group will be performing two of the most beloved examples of the string quartet repertoire: Mozart's Dissonance Quartet in C Major, one of the six quartets dedicated to Joseph Hayden, which earned its nickname from its slow and chromatic introduction; and Dvorak's American Quartet in F Major, written during the composer's time in the U.S. with open, simple character based on its unifying pentatonic scale and frequently identified with American folk music.

    For tickets and more information, click here.



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.