Privacy Notice

Last Updated: June 1, 2019

The mission of the Boston Athenaeum is to engage all who seek knowledge by making accessible our library’s collections and spaces, thereby inspiring reflection, discourse, creative expression, and joy. In fulfilling our mission we strive to safeguard the information of our members, donors, supporters, and all of those who interact with us. In this notice we list what information we collect and retain through, as well as those affiliated sites that specifically link to or adopt this privacy notice (the “Sites”) as well as why we do so.

If at any point you have questions about our privacy notice, or how we are using your data, please get in touch with us as set forth below in the Contact Us section.

  1. About this privacy notice
  2. Information we collect
  3. Why we collect your data
  4. When and how we share your data
  5. Managing Communication Preferences
  6. Cookies
  7. Links to Other Sites
  8. Changes to this Privacy Notice
  9. Contact Us


The purpose of this privacy notice is to explain how the Boston Athenaeum (“Athenaeum”, “Institution”, “BA”, “we”, “our”, “us”) holds and uses personal data we collect through the Sites.

When we say “Personal Data,” we mean things like your name in combination with your phone number, email address, mailing address, geolocation information, or credit card or other financial information.


We may hold and process the following types of Personal Data about you:

  1. Information Provided By You

We collect Personal Data that you provide to us through or in connection with the Services or that you give to us in another way. For example:

  • If you register to become a member, we process:
    • Your contact information, such as your name, mailing address, email address, and login credentials,
    • Information about the type of membership you’re signing up for,
    • Payment information, such as your credit card details and billing address, and
    • Other information that may be relevant to your membership.
  • If you make a donation, we process:
    • Information about your donation, such as how much and how often you would like to contribute,
    • If you would like us to prepare a calculation concerning certain planned gifts, the type of gift you are interested in, the asset type, the amount and cost basis of the gift, and the names of any beneficiaries,
    • Your contact information, such as your name, mailing address, and email, and
    • Certain payment information, such as your credit card details and billing address.
  • If you register for or attend any events at or sponsored by the Boston Athenaeum, we process:
    • Your contact information, such as your name, mailing address, email, and member identification number,
    • Your guests’ contact information, as applicable, and
    • Certain payment information, such as your credit card details and billing address.
  • If you need help with some research, we process:
    • Your name and email, as well as pertinent details about your research request.
  • If you inquire about renting space from us, we process:
    • Your name, email address, telephone number, and your company or organization name
    • Information about your Athenaeum membership, and
    • Information about the event, including the nature of the event, the date and time of day it will take place, the expected number of guests, and certain other information, such as whether you will need special equipment;
  • If you want to hear from us or otherwise contact us through the Sites, we process:
    • Your contact information, such as your name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number,
    • Information about how you would like to be contacted, and
    • The contents of your correspondence with us.
  1. Information We Collect Automatically

We use certain technologies on the Sites to collect information about the device or browser you use to navigate our website.

The technologies we use may include the following:

  • Web Logs.  Like most websites, we automatically gather certain information about our Site traffic and store it in log files.  This information includes Internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data.
  • Cookies and Other Data Collection Technologies.  We and our service providers use cookies, scripts and similar technologies to manage the Sites and to collect information about you and your use of our Sites. For more information see the Cookies section below.  We use Google Analytics to collect data. We need this data to understand how you use our website so we can improve its design and functionality. We also need the data to get the most out of our marketing campaigns.


The main reasons for retaining, collecting, and using your Personal Data are to manage your membership to the BA, administer any service or product you have requested or purchased, and to maintain the security of the collection. We also want to ensure that we offer you a personalized experience, and inform you of events or updates you have asked to hear about or any additional information you need to know. We also use your personal information to understand our members, donors, visitors, prospective donors and customers – including their needs with respect to the BA as well as their interest in the BA.


We may, from time to time, need to share your Personal Data with third parties working on our behalf.

Your data may be shared with the following third party service providers:

  • mailing houses, printers, event organizers, or event venues;
  • organizations providing tools such as relationship- or event-management systems, databases and reporting/analysis tools, email or survey tools, and payment services; and
  • organizations assisting with activities such as market research, marketing and communications, organizational effectiveness, strategy and planning, auditing, business intelligence and analysis, and customer experience.


If you have signed up to receive information from us (or where permitted by law, if you have provided to us or we have obtained your contact information), we may send you email messages, direct mail information, push notifications, or other communications regarding products or services depending on the method of communication selected. You may ask us not to do so when you access our Services or change your preferences by updating any accounts you have with us. At any time, you may elect to discontinue receiving commercial messages from us by following the unsubscribe instructions in the form of the communication you received or by submitting an opt-out request to the contact information set forth in the Contact Us section below.

  • Printed Materials: To opt out of receiving printed marketing materials at your postal address, such as advertisements, flyers, or postcards, please submit an opt-out request to the contact information set forth in the Contact Us section below. Please be sure to include your name and mailing address exactly as they appear on the printed marketing materials you received.
  • Emails: To opt out of receiving marketing communications via email, please click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email that was sent to you or submit an opt-out request to the contact information set forth in the Contact Us section below. Please note that you may continue to receive certain transactional or account-related electronic messages from us.


You can review your Internet browser settings, typically under the sections “Help” or “Internet Options,” to exercise choices you have for certain Cookies. For information on how to do this, access the “help” menu on your Internet browser, or access  Please note, however, that disabling our cookies may result in your inability to take full advantage of all of the features of our Sites.

The opt-outs described above are device- and browser-specific and may not work on all devices.


Our Sites contains links to other sites that are not owned or controlled by the Boston Athenæum. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy policies of such other sites or how these sites operate or treat your Personal Data. We encourage you to be aware of this when you leave our Sites and to read the privacy policies and terms of use associated with each of these third party sites that collect personally identifiable information.


This privacy notice was last updated on June 1, 2019.

We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time. Any changes to this privacy notice will be posted to this page.


If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice or concerns about the way we process your Personal Data, or require assistance in managing your privacy choices, please get in touch with us at:

10 ½ Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108