Boston Athenaeum

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Association of Boston literary men, was founded in 1805 as an outgrowth of the Anthology Club and patterned after the Liverpool Athenaeum in England. A corporation was organized (1807), and a library, a museum, and a laboratory were founded. Although the institution underwent trying times and was criticized as being limited to the wealthy, the library became valuable and in 1845 was provided with its own large building. The society has continued to influence Boston's literary life, and it is mentioned in such journals as Hawthorne's American Notebooks. It serves as the setting of Hawthorne's posthumous story “The Ghost of Doctor Harris.”

Subjects: Literature.

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