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Nantucket Atheneum Library

Nantucket Atheneum Library

The Nantucket Atheneum—the island’s unique library—is a vital community hub open 6 days per week year-round for all ages on Nantucket. The Atheneum welcomes more than 170,000 visitors each year and offers free access to 1.6 million books, CDs, DVDs and downloadables, free information services with 36 public access computers and WiFi, and over 1,300 free educational and cultural programs per year for all ages. Its historic building listed on the National Register of Historic Places is enhanced with artworks and artifacts celebrating its history and the history of Nantucket.

The Nantucket Atheneum evolved from the Nantucket Mechanics Social Library and the Columbian Library Society, which were both founded on the island in the early 1820’s. These two social libraries joined forces in 1827 to become the Universal Library Association, which moved in 1833 to a renovated Universalist Church at the corner of Federal Street and Pearl Street. In 1834 the library was incorporated as the Nantucket Atheneum, a private membership library with eighteen-year-old Maria Mitchell as its first librarian. The Great Fire of 1846 destroyed the original library building and virtually all of its collections. The Atheneum was rebuilt on the same site in 1847 and became a free public library in 1900. A significant renovation of the Atheneum took place in 1996, including the addition of the Weezie Library for Children.


Nantucket Atheneum Library

1 India Street, PO Box 808, Nantucket, MA 02554

Accessibility Information

Vision Impaired Technology Assistance at the Library (VITAL Program)
The Nantucket Atheneum Library circulates NLS Talking Book Players which may be used while at the Library, or checked out to enjoy at home.  The Library also provides instructions in how to download audio books from the Braille and Audio Download (BARD) and Perkins Library online catalogs. Please call the library at (508)-228-1110 x101 to speak with our Atheneum to Go coordinator, or you can email glewis@nantucketatheneum.org

Assistive Listening
Assistive Listening System is available in the Great Hall. This wireless system transmits sounds directly to a person who is hard of hearing for optimal clarity and better understanding.  The library supplies receivers and headphones for use during programs.

Wheelchair Access
Wheelchair access to the Atheneum is provided via a side door on the right side of the building. An elevator provides access to all floors in the building.


Sun. Closed
Mon. 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Tues. 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Wed. 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Thurs. 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Fri. 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Sat. 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Contact information