Request or Renew


You can request and reserve books and some periodicals through our online catalog. When looking at a record for a book, select “Pick Up at Circulation” from the list to the right where you will also see the options to print, email, etc.

Online requests are automatically delivered to the Circulation Desk each morning. For same day pickup, call Circulation 617-227-0270 x301 or Reference x302.


New books may be checked out for 14 days or 28 days (if the book is longer than 400 pages) and renewed, as long as no other member has requested a hold on them in the interim. After six months, books may be taken out for 60 days. The renewal process is the same as for 14-day or 28-day books

Overdue or Lost Books

If a book is overdue more than 30 days, the system will automatically mark the book “lost” and the member will be assessed a processing and current value replacement fee.

Book Mailing

We will mail books if you like. Book requests are placed with Circulation or Reference by phone, by email, or by using the “Pick up at Circulation” option in the catalog. Oversized, fragile, or interlibrary loan books cannot be mailed.

Outbound charges for mailing books are not being assessed at this time. The borrower is responsible for postage and packaging of returned books.

Replacement costs for books lost en route will be assumed by the Athenaeum. Replacement costs for books damaged while in the hands of the borrower or lost en route back to us will be charged to the borrower.