The Research Library and Randall Gallery are now open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. by appointment only.

Please call 603-431-2538 or email to set up your appointment. Masks are required.

For more information on programs, please check the Calendar of Events for the latest news.


The Athenaeum Board of Directors has been informed that some members who have been in contact with the coronavirus have been in the Athenaeum recently. In the interest of the health and safety of our members, staff, and community, the board respectfully asks that all members refrain from entering the building unless it is absolutely necessary until the New Hampshire state of emergency is lifted. We are sorry for this inconvenience, but do not want to put any of you or your families at risk.

If there is something you need from the Athenaeum, please contact the Keeper at

Dear Members & Friends,

Out of concern for the health and safety of our members, patrons, staff, and volunteers, the Athenaeum research library and exhibit gallery will be closed from Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. The reading room will remain available to Proprietors and Subscribers, but we recommend that you maintain a polite social distance from others, observe vigilant hand washing, and follow the preparedness guidelines issued by the City Health Department. [See link below.] If you feel ill, have been around someone who is ill, or have traveled recently, please stay home.

We will post regular updates as the situation evolves and hope that we will announce a reopening soon. In the interim, here are some ways you can stay involved with the Athenaeum:

  • Follow updates on our website and social media pages.
  • Search our online catalog, including the endlessly entertaining “Random Images” feature. Note that our librarian, Robin Silva, has included links to digital versions of books in our catalog if they are available.
  • Email a research request to

If you need a good read for self-isolation, we can still circulate books through the mail or by local drop-off.

Thank you for your support and cooperation,


Tom Hardiman, Keeper

Portsmouth Athenaeum


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