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Providence Sights

Providence Athenaeum

  • 251 Benefit St. Map It
  • East Side
  • Library/Archive

Updated 03/20/2014

Fodor's 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.

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Sight Information


251 Benefit St., Providence, Rhode Island, 02903, United States

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Sight Details:

  • Free
  • 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

Updated 03/20/2014


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May 13, 2009

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.

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