Check Availability

Why is the Portsmouth Athenaeum So Fantastic?

Books at the Portsmouth AthenaeumSpend a day exploring some of the rich history of Portsmouth, NH, at the Portsmouth Athenaeum.

About the Portsmouth Athenaeum

Located in Portsmouth, NH, the Portsmouth Athenaeum is an independent membership library, museum, and gallery. Founded in 1817, this establishment is a piece of history on its own. The 1805 Federal style building was designed by Bradbury Johnson originally as the office for the New Hampshire Fire & Marine Insurance Company, which later went bankrupt. The Portsmouth Athenaeum Society later acquired more of the building and expanded into the third floor to accommodate the Copley Research Library and Randall Gallery. As the years go by, this institution has kept certain 19th-century customs such as members who are called proprietors and directors are called keepers. The collection now exceeds 40,000 books and 12,000 photographs (4,000 of which you can find on their website). The Copley Research Library and Randall Gallery are currently free of charge and open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 pm to 4 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. You are also able to make special arrangements if you would like to visit outside of these times, just make sure to contact the society directly.

Upcoming Exhibits and Events

The Portsmouth Athenaeum constantly has new exhibits and events. Make sure to check their calendar for the most up to date information.

  • March 4, 2016, Art About Town
  • March 15, 2016 “Privies in Downtown Portsmouth: The Ground Yields its Secrets” Kathleen Wheeler, PhD
  • March 15, 2016, First presentation on “The North End” Exhibit
  • March 16, 2016, 2016 Speaker Series: Julie Hall Williams
  • March 24, 2016, Presentation and Book signing by Katie Towler
  • March 29, 2016 “Just Over The Fence: Moffatt-Ladd & The North End.” Barbara McLean Ward
  • March 29, 2016, Second presentation on “The North End” Exhibit
  • April 1, 2016, Art About Town
  • April 2, 2016 “A Digital North End: Portsmouth Public Library Archives.” Nicole Luongo Cloutier
  • April 2, 2016, Third presentation on “The North End” Exhibit
  • April 12, 2016 “Bocce Ball & Olive Oil: The North End’s Italian Enclave.” Blake Gumprecht
  • April 20, 2016, Thom Hindle
  • April 30, 2016 “Portsmouth Preservation: The Fight to Save” Dr. Richard Candee and Robert Chase
  • May 21, 2016 “Reconstructing a Lost Neighborhood” James Smith

After spending the day exploring some of the rich history Portsmouth, NH, has to offer, make your way to the best accommodations in York, ME, at Dockside Guest Quarters. Dockside Guest Quarters is a special place on the Maine seacoast offering a variety of distinctive accommodations. Here we capture the essence of Maine with natural beauty, genuine hospitality and an abundant array of sights, recreation, and activities. This unique location on a private peninsula provides an unsurpassed panoramic view of York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Each morning wake up to a delicious and complimentary breakfast buffet to start your day off right. Be sure to check out things to do in Portsmouth, NH, and things to do in York, ME. We look forward to booking your getaway!


The Perfect Anytime Gift…

Anytime, any reason you are sure to delight them with an unforgettable experience at our award winning inn. Order a gift certificate online instantly!

Buy Now