The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is an independent member-supported library and museum that engages members, scholars and the interested general public to join actively in the cultural and intellectual life of Philadelphia and participate in historical, literary and educational activities.
Athenaeum of Philadelphia
Athenaeum of Philadelphia exterior view. ©Tom Crane
Athenaeum's reading room. ©Tom Crane
Dome of the United States Capitol, Half Section, 1859, architect Thomas Ustick Walter. ©Athenaeum of Philadelphia
Proposed Alteration to Philadelphia City Hall, 1929, architect Paul Philippe Cret. ©Athenaeum of Philadelphia
CollectionThe Athenaeum was founded in 1814 to collect materials “connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge” for the public’s benefit. Items gathered in the early years of the organization form the “legacy” rare book collection and include both monographs and periodicals. Since 1973, the Athenaeum has actively collected materials in areas relating to architecture, the design arts, and the built environment, emphasizing architectural drawings, photographs, trade catalogs, and rare and new books regarding these subjects. With these collections the Athenaeum provides Philadelphia and the scholarly community with a significant resource of first resort on matters of architecture and design history. Digital Resources: Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project: www.philadelphiabuildings.org Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network: www.philageohistory.org Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide: http://philageohistory.org/BuildersGuide