Many old books on bookshelves in the Athenaeum's storage called the drum

Membership FAQs

Can I try the Athenaeum before I join?

Day memberships are available for $40 at the front desk. If you become a yearly member within a week of your visit, we can apply the daily fee to your annual membership cost.

How much does it cost?

Annual memberships start at under $500 for individuals. Young (40 and under) individuals and families save more.  Membership options

Can I divide my membership costs over multiple payments?

Yes! We offer monthly payment plans.

Do you offer student or family memberships?

Young individual and family memberships are available. We’re happy to help find the membership that’s right for you. 

At this time we do not offer senior discounts.

How do I see rare and special collections?

Make an appointment to access rare books, manuscripts, prints, and photographs. Our full-time staff are here to assist.

Can I bring a guest to an event or around the building?

Absolutely! Members are encouraged to bring guests to the Athenaeum. For events, you can bring up to 3 guests at the member rate.

Can I look around for free? Can I see the 5th floor?

As a member-supported library, we do not offer free entrance, but there are multiple ways for you to enjoy the Athenaeum. We offer Arts & Exhibitions visits, public tours, and day memberships with various ticket prices. Please see our visit page for more information. 

What kind of books are in the Athenæum?

Bestsellers and contemporary books, children’s books, graphic novels, rare books, prints, maps, reference material, newspapers, periodicals, and more. Our collections consist of more than 600,000 volumes in our circulating, reference and special collections, and we are constantly adding new things. Search our online catalog to see what’s available.

I lost my library card. Can I get a replacement?
Are membership dues tax deductible?

Membership, considered a “good or service” by the IRS, is not tax-deductible. However, gifts and donations are tax-deductible and help preserve our spaces and collections for years to come. Give today.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (617) 720-7604 or Thank you!

Become a Member

Enjoy all the perks and privileges of belonging to Boston’s premier gathering place for the curious.