THE BOSTON ATHENEUM, one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries in the United States, was founded in 1807 by members of the Anthology Society, a group of fourteen Boston gentlemen who had joined together in 1805 to edit The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review. Today its collections comprise over half a million volumes, with particular strengths in Boston history, New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine and decorative arts. The Athenæum supports a dynamic art gallery, and sponsors a lively variety of events such as lectures and concerts. It also serves as a stimulating center for discussions among scholars, bibliophiles, and a variety of community interest groups.
Their purpose of the Boston Atheneaum was to form "an establishment similar to that of the Athenæum and Lyceum of Liverpool in Great Britain; combining the advantages of a public library containing the great works of learning and science in all languages."
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