Make a Donation Join Mailing List Find Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter Follow Us On Instagram Join Us on LinkedIn Foursquare Follow Us On Pinterest Follow Us On Tumblr YouTube Reviews


You are invited to join one of the oldest and most esteemed membership libraries in the United States, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia! Hear what our members have to say:

“Our uniquely rich collections weave tapestries of Philadelphia’s history – from its ideological and idealist founding, to its brick and mortar planning and execution, through its cultural, creative, and industrial development. The Athenaeum holds a place in our city that’s not unlike the place our city holds in the world.  We are a central library that records and explores the history of humanity’s better angels, its occasional falls from grace, the genius of the invention of the city itself and a celebration of the ideas behind the greatness of America, the uniqueness of Philadelphia and the future of an ever-changing urban cultural landscape.”            

- Ed Tettemer, Athenaeum of Philadelphia Member since 2012

Become a part of Philadelphia’s rich 19th century history by joining the Athenaeum today.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia has three (3) General Membership Levels · 

  • Shareholder: Receive full privileges at the Athenaeum, cost of a Shareholder Membership: $500 (one–time share purchase) + $210 Annual Dues (to be collected in February)  All new Shareholders will be issued an Athenaeum of Philadelphia share certificate as well as a brief biography about one of the share’s previous owners – often dating back to the Athenaeum’s founding in 1814.

  • Subscriber (Individual):  Subscribers to the Athenaeum pay an annual membership fee of $250.

  • Young Friends (Individual):  Young Friends of the Athenaeum pay an annual membership fee of $75. Memberships are reserved for those individuals who are age 18-35.  

All members receive:

  • An official Athenaeum of Philadelphia library card, decal and bookmark

  • Free or discounted ticketing to events

  • Invitation to new members’ orientation and reception

  • Regular receipt of email bulletins and mailed program brochures

  • Members-only access to exhibition openings, receptions, tours, lectures, and special events

  • Opportunity to volunteer as an Athenaeum Ambassador or as a committee, task force, or advisory group participant

  • Generous lending times, short waiting periods, and NO fees for popular books

  • Use of beautiful reading rooms, members lounge with coffee, tea, and daily newspapers, and Wi-Fi access throughout our National Historic Landmark building

  • Borrowing privileges from our continuously expanding circulating and reference library collection of over 355,000 titles, including recent releases and popular fiction, hard-to-find material, magazines, journals, DVDs and eBooks


Benefits for Shareholders at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia:

  • All of the above +

  • Invitation to and voting privileges at annual Shareholder’s meeting & cocktail party

  • Receipt of a personalized Shareholder certificate that can be passed on to family members 

  • Access to the University of Pennsylvania library holdings – ability to check out from their 7 million volume circulating library (a $400 annual value)

  • At-home mail delivery of books

  • Reservation privileges for The Athenaeum’s DuBarry Conference Room

  • Free subscription to the Philadelphia Architects & Buildings (PAB) Database.
    Subscription Includes:

  • Access to PAB’s 130,000+ high-resolution digital images from the Athenaeum’s rich holdings, and the collections of many other local repositories

  • The ability to download images into an unlimited number of personally-curated PowerPoint slide shows

  • Discounts of up to 25% on orders placed with the Athenaeum’s Regional Digital Imaging Center

  • 20% discount off books at the University of Pennsylvania Press 

  • Reciprocal privileges at a consortium of membership libraries nationwide and introduction by Executive Director prior to visit


Contact our Membership Coordinator Gabrielle Rodriguez for further information at 215-925-2688 or