The Nantucket Atheneum
June 28, 2023
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The Nantucket Atheneum is one of the best places you can indulge in the pleasure of reading. It boasts plenty of books, podcasts, movies, games, and resources for children and adults. You may also use its computers and Wi-Fi to browse the internet.

Time and again, the library organizes creative classes, lectures, and concerts that entertain and empower the local community. Through them, you may learn English, how to knit, and 3D printing. While at it, you may socialize and make new friends.

All of their services are accessible to anyone at absolutely no cost. You will only need a library card which you can get at the library or on their website. Their extremely helpful staff will quickly help you get one and offer guidance on utilizing the library’s resources best.

The Nantucket Atheneum’s environment is tranquil and perfect for focusing on your book. Beautiful arts and artifacts accentuating Nantucket’s history and maritime heritage decorate its spaces. You may read inside the library or outside in its lush and private gardens.

The library is wheelchair accessible via the right side of the building and provides convenient elevator access to all its floors. It also offers a Vision Impaired Technology Assistance and Assistive Learning System for the visually and hearing impaired.

The library’s operations rely on town & state governments and individual & foundation funding. It organizes several fundraising events yearly that help raise much-needed operating revenue. These include the Summer Nantucket Dance Festival, the Annual Giving Campaign, and the Cold Turkey Plunge.

You may access the library all year, six days a week (Monday through Saturday). Visit its website to learn more about what it offers and its operational hours. You may also donate to show appreciation and promote its services on the island.

Brief History of the Nantucket Atheneum

The Nantucket Atheneum came to be in 1834 after the merging of the Nantucket Mechanics Social Library and the Columbian Library Society. Maria Mitchell, who became a renowned astronomer, served as its first librarian. It ran as a private subscription library and often hosted speakers and events that deliberated on critical life issues, including Nantucket’s first and second anti-slavery conventions held in the 1840s.

In 1846, a fire tragedy razed Nantucket downtown, including the Atheneum. A new building was erected in its exact location and still stands today. It is commonly called the handsomest building rebuilt after the fire.

In 1900, the Atheneum became a public library accessible by Nantucket residents and visitors.In 1966, it was named a National Historic Landmark and included in the National Register of Historic Places. Moreover, it incorporated the Weezie Library for Children as part of its services.

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