Providence Anthenaeum


In Indonesia, my most wanted building/place to be visited during my stay in a new town or city is Mosque (and pray in it of course), but in US there are  two places that I always have to go: the University and the library. This is the 6th times we visited Providence, but not at once we ever come to see the library. This time we have the perfect time (Saturday afternoon) and accompanied by Providence local resident, Satrio, we visited this most beautiful library that I’ve ever seen in my life (so far); Providence Anthenaeum Library. Mind you, that my kind of library isn’t the ones that have tall ceilings and ultra grandiose building, but instead the small, intimate, rich in history, … just the way you always dreamed a library should be. And this Providence Athenaeum has the ability to take your breath away.

I’m not good at making words tell about this library. So I copy paste this from a review from Yelp, hee.

This library is so much more than dusty books and dead poets (with all due respect to the purists). The fourth oldest library in the United States, it is a rich time capsule filled with centuries of literature and Providence’s history. But the Atheaneum, so filled with ghosts and remnants of days long gone by, is also a living, breathing space. It is is staffed by an unbelievably smart and friendly group of people who are the Athenaeum’s modern-day stewards; they will fascinate you with their boundless knowledge of all things popular and downright arcane.




The very best of the old world and the new meet here: walk along the creaky floorboards in this magical place, and you’ll see grand wooden card catalogs filled with listings etched in spidery script; a team of ravens pointing the way through the highlights of a self-guided tour (this was after all, a favorite hangout of Edgar Allen Poe during his Providence days); the latest in fiction and non-fiction, as well as all of the beloved classics; and an incredible collection of art house, foreign and critically acclaimed films and television series on DVD.




This is the only place in the city where you can feel the presence of prominent spirits while chatting with the city’s current, foremost champions of the arts, culture and history. The Atheanaeum is a private library; so in order to enjoy the full Athenaeum experience, you must be a member. Members enjoy a robust series of salons and reading clubs, fantastic children’s program offerings for young families, a popular and phenomenally challenging pub trivia night, and an annual gala that stands alone on the social calendar in terms of all-out literary fabulousness.




And The children’s area is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen for a libraryAzka and Khalif love it!




A beautiful adventure, it has indeed been. The Providence Athenaeum, at the corner of Benefit and College streets, is open seven days a week to the public. Athena is still there, and she welcomes all — don’t let those imposing doors fool you…!


2 thoughts on “Providence Anthenaeum

  1. wowwww, perpusatakaan yg keren! Seandainya ada di Indonesia. Saya sendiri termasuk orang yg suka ke perpustakaan, baik perpustakaan besar maupun kecil, pemerintah maupun swasta. Sayangnya perpustakaan pemerintah khususnya di Jkt lebih didominasi buku2 lama. Berbeda dg perpustakaan swasta dg koleksi buku terbaru dan suasana yg lebih nyaman. Anehnya minat orang datang ke perpustakaan sangat kurang. Sementara dlm benak saya, sangat menyenangkan bisa membaca buku/majalah/koran bahkan browsing tanpa harus mengeluarkan uang. Cukup dg mendaftarkan diri sebagai anggota perpustakaan. Kalaupun harus membayar, anggap saja sebagai retribusi pengembangan perpustakaan. Karena sering mengunjungi banyak perpustakaan, saya jadi tahu karaktertistik masing2 perpustakaan, hehe. Bila saya bingung bagaimana caranya agar tdk terjebak macet, datanglah ke perpustakaan, duduk membaca beberapa jam, setelah jalanan sepi, pulang dengan nyaman plus mendapat inspirasi baru. Tidak mudah mengajak orang singgah ke perpustakaan. Apalagi di jaman yg serba instan, kita cukup mengetikkan apa yg tdk kita mengerti di internet dan taraaaa muncullah jawaban. Padahal apa yg kita baca di internet, kadar kedalaman pengertiannya beda bila kita mendapat jawaban dari buku. Sekian dulu dari saya. Ditunggu cerita2 menarik lainnya

    1. Hallo Ona..! Wah, seru banget ya, aku di Jakarta kayaknya cuman pernah ke perpus LIPI dan perpus MENDIKBUD – itu lumayan bagus! Kalo sekitaran paling di UI Depok yang cukup nyaman, tapi itu ke sana juga kalo pas ngerjain tugas/ cari bahan buat thesis, haha. Pengen banget nih cita-cita bikin perpus anak sepulangnya ke Indo (di Jakarta or Bandung). Perpus anak gratis…! Doakan ya bisa terwujud 🙂

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