At the Athenæum
See Events for more information

Spinning Yarns for the Holidays
A story-telling extravaganza
Friday, Dec. 12, 7 pm

Book Group
Discussion of Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 am

Welcome Winter!
Members Party
Family activity: make your own book plates
Saturday, Dec. 13, 2-4 pm


An Introduction to Jewelry of Life and Love with Laura Johnson
Thursday, Jan. 29, 7 pm
members of the Athenaeum, Historic Salem and Historic New England
Students with ID free
Buy tickets

Blue Heron and Les Delices
CSEM Concert
Saturday, Jan. 31, 8 pm
$30; $25 members and seniors;
free for students 17 and under

Library Hours:

Tue / Wed / Fri: 1 PM to 5 PM
Thursday: 5 PM to 9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM to 2 PM
Closed Sunday and Monday
New Members and Visitors Welcome

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The Fall Newsletter is here!

Miniature Works of Art

Bookplates Poster People like to put their mark on things. One example of this quirk of human nature is the bookplate. Now considered a quaint artifact, these were once important identifiers of prized possessions. Also called ex libris they have been used since the 15th century. The designs reflect their era and reveal how the book owners chose to express themselves.

As portals into history, some bookplates tell about people who were stars in their own day but are now forgottten, such as William Brown, the Salem-born Governor of Bermuda, Susan Burley, the lovely patron of Hawthorne and the Athenaeum, and Rev. George Innes, the 50-year headmaster of an English boys' school that was founded in 914 and still exists today.

Curator Elaine von Bruns has assembled an impressive array of historic bookplates from the Athenaeum's collection and other sources, including a supralibros and some remarkable examples of the bookplate art from the height of the form in the 18th and 19th centuries. Modern examples worthy of note are featured as well.




We are grateful to our 2013-2014 Program Sponsors


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Boston Private Bank
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation
Soucy Insurance Agency, Inc.



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337 Essex Street, Salem MA 01970
tel 978.744.2540 | fax 978.744.7536

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