New Hours Begin
Jan 4 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

New hours begin this week!

1:00-6:00 p.m. Tuesday-Friday (Thursday is no longer 5:00-9:00 p.m.)
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday

Brookline Consort: Fireside Carols
Jan 4 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

If Music Could Talk

Join the Brookline Consort for an evening of carols at the Salem Athenaeum. This program, part of our popular new series “If Music Could Talk,” includes Benjamin Britten’s beloved “Ceremony of Carols” for harp and voices as well as music by Francis Poulenc and Alfred Burt. There will be a short carol sing-along at the end, and as always with this series, some performer-audience dialogue.

Founded in 2016, The Brookline Consort​ is an 8-16 vocal chamber choir of music professionals in and around the Brookline area dedicated to the performance of fine choral music in a chamber setting.​ The Brookline Consort is comprised of professional musicians that are committed to telling stories through diverse, thoughtful programming performed at the highest level. Through the curation of engaging musical experiences, they create spaces for conversation between artists and audiences and through the collaborative nature of choral music, listeners become creative partners in building community in Brookline and beyond.
Writing Workshop: Claiming Space—Creative Journaling as Daily Practice
Jan 5 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Poets Krysten Hill and Danielle Jones will lead a workshop exploring journaling as a daily practice for writers. Regardless of genre, every writer begins by staring down the blank page, which can be both intimidating and unforgiving. But what if you think of that blank page as a chance for play? A space to rant, reconfigure, keep a record—a way to let the many sides of yourself come together on the page. We will bring images and poems intended to get the conversation started; give you strategies for revisiting old entries in order to generate new material; and you’ll leave with prompts for the first several weeks of your writing new year.

Bring your own journal, or order one for $15 when you register ahead and we’ll provide it.


Krysten Hill is an educator, writer, and performer who has showcased her poetry on stage at The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Blacksmith House, Cantab Lounge, U35 Reading Series, and other venues. She received her MFA in poetry from UMass Boston where she currently teaches. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in apt, Word Riot, The Baltimore Review, B O D Y,  Muzzle,  PANK, Winter Tangerine Review, Take Magazine and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award. Her chapbook, How Her Spirit Got Out, received the 2017 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize.

Danielle Jones holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is assistant director of the Writers House at Merrimack College. Her work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, Incessant Pipe, Memorious, and elsewhere. She’s a recipient of a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award.

Writers’ Open Studio
Jan 8 @ 8:40 am – 11:30 am

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.

The building will be open from 8:40-11:30 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting.

Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.

Book Group
Jan 12 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m.

View the reading list.

Adopt-a-Book Conservation Event
Jan 13 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Join us for a rare opportunity to view a selection of important Athenaeum books in need
of special care. While some of the titles may be unfamiliar today, they were all influential,
shaping public opinion and furthering knowledge. Among them, these books promoted
abolition, documented Native American ways of life, reported on scientific and
geographical explorations throughout North America, and helped to establish a national

Dr. Sue Weaver Schopf will also present a talk about David Hartley whose groundbreaking psychology book, Observations on Man, will be conserved this round.

See the complete list of books



Monday Evening Conversations
Jan 14 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Monday Evening Conversations Group meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM. All members and other interested parties are invited.

It may be of interest to know that the The Social Library, predecessor of the Salem Athenæum, was founded by a similar discussion group, called the Monday Evening Club. Edward Augustus Holyoke, Rev. Thomas Barnard, Rev. Thomas Gilchrist, Benjamin Lynde, Nathaniel Ropes and others were among the Monday Evening Club founders, who gathered to discuss current events and topics of mutual interest.

Topics for discussion are wide open, but must be amenable to good conversation. Examples include:

  • The long ranging effects of the Civil War
  • The courage to be vulnerable
  • European architecture
  • The importance/non importance of art
  • Why have friends

Meetings will start with something to help frame the discussion for the evening, such as a:

  • brief talk
  • podcast
  • video
  • reading of prose or poetry
  • music

We look forward to talking with you!

Writers’ Open Studio
Jan 15 @ 8:40 am – 11:30 am

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.

The building will be open from 8:40-11:30 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting.

Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.

Salem Writers’ Group
Jan 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

All are welcome to bring work-in-progress to share with the group for feedback. The group is facilitated by J.D. Scrimgeour, Professor of English, Salem State University.

Reappraisal Reading Circle: H.G. Wells
Jan 18 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Reappraisal Reading Circle is an open meeting discussing the works of a prolific, popular author of the past whose works are held in quantity by the Athenaeum.  Participants are encouraged to read any work by the selected author to contribute to the discussion.  Even if you haven’t read any of the books you are welcome to attend. Meetings are usually held on the 3rd Monday every other month but occasionally are held on Fridays in the event of a Monday holiday.


H. G. Wells ( 1866-1946)


Englishman, novelist, journalist, educator, satirist, sociologist, futurist and prophet — these are a few of the words which could describe Herbert George Wells. He was prolific. He wrote in many genres and his influence was far reaching.


Wells is credited with inventing several classic themes in science fiction through his novels: The Time Machine; The Island of Doctor Moreau; The Invisible Man; and The War of the Worlds.


He also made history a best seller with his The Outline of History (1920) and then A Short History of the World (1922) which Albert Einstein praised. In 1933 Wells predicted a world war would break out by January 1940. It actually began in September 1940.  In 1901 Wells envisioned the new world of the twentieth century and made correct calls about much of what was to come in  Anticipations of the Reactions of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought. His ideas are perceptive and provocative, and controversial. Above all, they have influenced most of us.