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Providence Athenaeum records (Arch-002)

Providence Athenaeum

251 Benefit Street
Providence, RI, 02903
Tel: 401-421-6970
email: info@provath.org
website: www.provath.org

Scope & content

Providence Athenaeum institutional records, dating 1831-1836.

Administrative records (Series 1):

  • The Institution records, Feb. 1831-Nov. 1835 (Archives Closet 2, Shelf 1, Item 1), all handwritten entries in a notebook, include: meeting minutes; a "True Copy" of Charter from the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (June 1831 session); the Act of Incorporation granted to Cyrus Butler, John Mackie, Charles Dyer, and Richard W. Greene, and their association named the "Providence Athenaeum" (2 pages); the Constitution (3 pages); By-Laws (8 pages), and Membership statement (5 pages) that "any individual who shall pay into the treasury a sum not less than one hundred dollars, shall be a Patron, and any individual who shall pay therein twenty-five dollars, shall be a Stockholder, entitled to one share in the joint stock of the Institution". A catalog published 1833 is bound in as well. In the Minutes from the first two meetings held at the Arcade building in Providence (6 pages) it is recorded that at the Feb. 21, 1831 meeting, to plan establishment of an Athenaeum, William T. Grinnell was chosen chairman and Thomas M. Webb secretary; at the July 18, 1831 meeting an election took place ... officers Tristam Burges, President; John Mackie, 1st Vice President; Frederick A. Farley, 2nd Vice President, Thomas H. Webb, Secretary, John R. Bartlett, Treasurer. Additional Minutes record activities of "The Annual Meeting" (Nov. 28, 1831) signed Fred'k A. Farley; 2nd Annual meeting (Nov. 25, 1832) signed Thomas H. Webb; 3rd Annual Report (Nov. 25, 1833) signed J[ohn] Kingsbury, Trustee, and D.C. Cushing, Secretary. The minutes of the 4th (Nov. 24, 1834) and 5th (Nov. 30, 1835) annual meetings are also signed by D.C. Cushing, Secretary.
  • Minutes of Trustees (Board of Directors) meetings from July 1831-April 1836 (Archives Closet 2, Box 1, Item 6) include the July 20, 1831 entry recording that 7 committees were formed: For taking lease of rooms at the Arcade, On Printing, For Selecting Books, On the purchase of Books, For procuring Periodicals, For Binding, and For Purchasing Record Books, etc. Other minutes in 1831 are dated Aug. 10, Sept. 5, and Sept. 19. The last three minutes are dated March 5, March 26, and April 2, 1836 with a final entry reading "The regular meeting of the Board was held this evening ... the Treasurer was directed to issue notice to the Treasurer of the Arcade Corporation that the Athenaeum will surrender the occupancy of the room No. 44 Arcade which they now occupy. Adjorned to the call of the Committee appointed to sell the books. [Signed] D.C. Cushing, Secy."

Catalogs (Series 2): There are 3 copies of the 1833 published catalog, each bound in with various other documents. In the Catalogue of the Providence Athenaeum Library dated 1833 (Archives Colset 4, Shelf 1, Item 1) a list of Trustees in included: Lemuel H. Arnold, Thomas Burges, Richard J. Arnold, Thomas C. Hoppin, William T. Grinnell, William Butler, John Taylor, Stephen Tripp, J. Kingsbury, and Zachariah Allen.

Collection records (Series 3): The charging records, dating 1831-1836, were created by the Librarian at the "Delivery Desk" (circulation desk), listing which books were taken out by members. 1831-1836.