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“What a magnificent library”

Boston Public Library
Ranked #4 of 359 things to do in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: On the National Register of Historic Places, the library opened in 1852 as the first free, publicly-supported municipal library in America.
Reviewed 23 September 2010

We went to Boston knowing that we wanted to stop at this venerable old library that was the first of its kind in the USA. It's huge, right in the center of Boston with all those other beautiful sites at Copley Square (including the Trinity Church and the Old South Church, plus the new tall buildings), a beautiful piece of architecture, and has lots to see inside too. The Boston Public Library comes in two very large adjoining parts. The older half goes back to around 1890 and the more modern newer half to the early 1970s. If you enter make sure you see the huge reading room, the many paintings, and the enormous inner courtyard complete with fountain. A wedding couple were having their photos taken near the courtyard fountain while food was being prepared and a keg of beer was even being wheeled inside. We also saw a special library exhibit of old travel posters from the 1920s and '30s. It's definitely worth an hour of your time in Boston.

2  Thank unclelouie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"reading room"
in 191 reviews
"copley square"
in 198 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 188 reviews
"map room"
in 67 reviews
"bates hall"
in 41 reviews
"architecture tour"
in 31 reviews
"abbey room"
in 28 reviews
"holy grail"
in 29 reviews
"inner courtyard"
in 30 reviews
"john singer sargent"
in 54 reviews
"great architecture"
in 33 reviews
"trinity church"
in 55 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 83 reviews
"free tour"
in 45 reviews
"murals"
in 330 reviews
"bpl"
in 134 reviews
"art"
in 350 reviews
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2,836 - 2,840 of 3,574 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2010

The Boston Public Library is amazing! The second floor paintings tell an amazing story. There is so much beauty and history in this building that one would be remiss if they didn't visit during their stay in Boston.

3  Thank Sabrina90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2010

While it may seem odd to get excited about a public library, anyone who has been to old flagship urban libraries, at least on the East Coast, understands how special these buildings can be. While Boston's is not the only example, it definitely stands out as one of the best. The building is full of amazing design, particularly the courtyard which is a unique and pleasant touch. The library remains vital today, providing many interesting programs particularly during the annual book festival. And, as others have noted, it is extremely convenient, located literally right up the steps from the Copley T station on the green line.

1  Thank jays165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2010

It is a wonderful library. The building itself is beautiful inside and out; featuring really awesome murals inside. Their rare book room is amazing. They have some really cool exhibits, but you have to fill out special requests to see certain materials in the actual book room. I was lucky enough to happen in there on a day when they had pulled a Joan of Arc manuscript and it was so...I don't even have words for it. If you are a lover of books, it really is something you should check out.

1  Thank aking13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 June 2003

Good presentations about how to use Boston Public Library have not been available for BPLusers/clientele/visitors . See also a weblog guide to problematical Boston Public Library use ...

1  Thank Trek25523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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