Events | September 26, 2014

Boston Athenaeum November 2 Open House to Reveal Treasures of Boston Culture

Boston Athenaeum First-Floor-BowRoom-into-LongRoom.jpg

The Boston Athenæum will open its red leather doors at 10 1/2 Beacon Street on Sunday, November 2, from noon until 4:00 p.m. for a free public Open House. There will be activities, talks, and more for all ages, offered on a first-come, first served basis. 

All twelve stories of the Boston Athenæum’s National Historic Landmark building, most usually limited to Athenæum members only, will be open to the public for self-guiding tours for the first time in more than a decade.

This Open House will be a rare chance to peek into the fascinating nooks and crannies and view the inspiring spaces of one of the nation’s oldest cultural institutions. Open House visitors will learn about the Athenæum’s rich history and extraordinary collections and its National Historic Landmark home at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, with its splendid interiors, among the most impressive in the United States.

Family events planned for the day include a Children’s Library Open House, with an afternoon of coloring, Legos®, a scavenger hunt and a family story hour.

The Athenæum’s current exhibition, Over Here: World War I Posters from Around the World, will be open in the Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery. Its selection of posters and other printed pieces is drawn from from the Athenæum’s remarkable collection of World War I visual material, one of the oldest and largest in the United States. 

Book conservators from the Athenæum’s Conservation Laboratory, the first to be established inside a library, will demonstrate book conservation and classic bookbinding techniques throughout the day,. The Athenæum’s digital programs will also be explored in a special guided tour of the Conservation facilities.

Several presentations are scheduled throughout the day to give visitors a brief overview of the Athenæum, as well as provide information about membership opportunities, benefits, and services..

For more details, please see

About the Boston Athenæum:

Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest cultural institutions in North America. Many distinguished writers, poets, scholars, politicians, and jurists have been part of its membership. Located in a beloved National Historic Landmark building at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston, the Athenæum combines an art museum with a public exhibition gallery and 100,000 works of art; a leading scholarly research and membership library with more than 480,000 volumes and more than 100,000 rare and historical editions; and a civic forum including lectures, book talks, readings, panel discussions, concerts, and other events. The Athenæum’s Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery and (as of October 1, 2014) the building’s first floor are open to the public seven days a week. For hours and membership information, please visit or call 617-720-7604.

Image: View of the Long Room on the first floor of the Boston Athenæum. Photo by Megan Manton. Boston Athenæum.