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Portsmouth Athenaeum

9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801-4011
+1 603-431-2538
Review Highlights
Perfect spot for book lovers, historians, or researchers!

I LOVE books, so when I read that there was a 200-year-old library in Portsmouth, I knew I needed... read more

Reviewed 7 November 2017
Crystal M
I went to an event here

I went to an author's event here, and it was a fascinating program. The building itself is very... read more

Reviewed 22 June 2017
Ariele S
Read all 26 reviews
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This library was established in 1817 and has a noteworthy collection of rare and old publications.
  • Excellent78%
  • Very good19%
  • Average0%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“market square” (5 reviews)
“library” (8 reviews)
“researchers” (4 reviews)
9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801-4011
+1 603-431-2538
Write a ReviewReviews (26)
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1 - 10 of 23 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2017

I LOVE books, so when I read that there was a 200-year-old library in Portsmouth, I knew I needed to stop in. My husband and I weren't disappointed. We lucked out and got to visit their exhibit on the town's history, which was fascinating, but...More

Thank Crystal M
Reviewed 22 June 2017

I went to an author's event here, and it was a fascinating program. The building itself is very interesting and old. Great place to check out. I don't know the hours or if it costs money though.

Thank Ariele S
Reviewed 27 May 2017 via mobile

Very cool old library stuffed on the third floor of a building. You enter through a non-descript door and walk up two flights of stairs. You will be told by the staff that you can't go to the floors above or below unless you are...More

Thank Konrad V
Reviewed 10 April 2017

I had emailed in advance to see if we would be able to tour the Athenaeum. The fabulous Carolyn wrote back that, indeed, we would. We made a special trip to the city to enter the mysterious, but ever-beckoning, Portsmouth Athenaeum. Worth every mile to...More

Thank Mrs Andrew C
Reviewed 21 October 2016

This collection is like entering a time machine. We were lucky enough to stop in on a day when there was a meeting and the people in the meeting invited us in. The library and collection are wonderful to look at and the building is...More

Thank kas929
Reviewed 16 September 2016

Took us forever to figure out how to get into this place but it was totally worth it! My wife and I spent some time admiring all the antique books when a young man offered to give us a tour. He was wonderful giving us...More

3  Thank Steve B
Reviewed 23 August 2016 via mobile

So many people walk by this place and never venture up the three flights. The library alone is worth visiting as well as the temporary exhibits. The most recent special exhibit features black and white photos of important homes in the area. Make the effort...More

1  Thank 814steven
Reviewed 13 August 2016 via mobile

A researcher James gave us a wonderful walking tour while the athenaeum was under construction. Books, artwork, nautical history and curiosities from around the globe. I would recommend this hidden market square gem to art and book enthusiasts.

1  Thank Lindsey B
Reviewed 6 July 2016

We'd scheduled time to visit this amazing historic library and had taken a look online and knew that it was a special place but even then a look at the inner sanctum of this historic building took my breath away. I found a precious historic...More

Thank RVtraveller2016
Reviewed 18 May 2016

This is a quirky little museum/library that is wonderful - if you are into history and historical records - particularly of early New England and Portsmouth. It's not a destination or entertainment mecca to bring the kids - it's way old school so be aware....More

Thank rscimagery
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Questions & Answers
Anne M
4 September 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from 814steven | Reviewed this property |
If you are able to walk no more than 10 minutes, then I suggest that you park in the free lots down on lower Pleasant Street or along Parrott Ave - also free. There's an overflow lot on the other side of the South Mill Pond... More