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Providence Athenaeum

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Providence Athenaeum Review

Philadelphia architect William Strickland designed this 1838 Greek Revival building. Here Edgar Allan Poe courted poet Sarah Helen Whitman and signed a periodical in the collection containing a piece he published anonymously. An 1870s Manet print that illustrated Poe's "The Raven" hangs in the rare book room, which also contains two medieval illuminated manuscripts. Raven signs are posted at eight points of interest on a self-guided library tour. Among them is a special cabinet modeled after an Egyptian temple to house the library's multivolume imperial edition of Description de l'Egypte (1809–22), commissioned by Napoléon. If you need to log on, the library has Wi-Fi.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 251 Benefit St., East Side, Providence, RI, 02903 | Map It
  • Phone: 401/421–6970
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Sept.–May, Mon.–Thurs. 9–7, Fri. and Sat. 9–5, Sun. 1–5; June–Labor Day, Mon.–Thurs. 9–7, Fri. 9–5, Sat. 9–1
  • Website:
  • Location: East Side
Updated: 03-20-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Charming old library

    A charming little historic library space, has a useful working book collection (and surprisingly, a still viable card catalog), a few paintings, and other little delights. Worth a brief visit.

    by bachslunch, 5/13/09

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