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The Salem Athenĉum is a membership library.  Anyone may belong; there are no restrictions or referrals required.  Our members are diverse in age, income, and cultural background.  We invite you to join today!

Members enjoy full use of the Athenĉum's resources. This includes borrowing books and magazines, using the reading rooms, and receiving reduced or free admission to Athenĉum programs and events. Subscribers to the Athenĉum pay an annual membership fee of $85 for individuals and $105 per household.  The renewal period begins June 1st each year but new members may join at any time.

Proprietors of the Salem Athenĉum is our traditional and legal name and refers to the holders of 100 shares.  New Proprietors give a $500 donation to our endowment and then pay an annual assessment to support operating costs.  The current assessment is $210.  Proprietors may serve as trustees and officers of the Athenĉum and may exercise voting privileges at the annual meeting held each year on the first Wednesday of May.  Currently there is waiting list to purchase new shares. Contact the Director for more information. 





New members or givers of gift memberships may also download and mail the Membership Form with a check made payable to The Salem Athenĉum.  

Gift memberships may also be purchased on-line.  Please provide name and contact information in the notes section and contact the Athenĉum via phone (978.744.2540) or email about delivery of the gift certificate.



Proprietor Assessment



Share ($500)
Please contact the Director for details.



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2009    Fall        Summer         Spring        Winter

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2006   Summer       Early Spring 

2005    Fall        Programs Insert


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  • Dickens Fellowship, North of Boston Branch, meets on the 1st Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. to learn, discuss, and celebrate the works of Charles Dickens and the Victorian era.  See for calendar and contact information.
  • Salem Writers Group meets on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.  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.
  • Writers Studio is each Wednesday morning, 8:45 - 11:30 a.m.  The Athenĉum offers a quiet space for writers to work. 
  • The Book Discussion Group meets on second Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. All are welcome to join in this discussion group. See the Events Calendar for the reading list.

    Scrabble Club meets most Thursdays, 7-9 p.m. Drop in.

  • La Tertulia is a group of members interested in keeping their Spanish speaking skills in practice. They meet on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Contact the Director to join.

    We welcome other groups - please contact the Director if you wish to form a group or club and we will be pleased to advertise your idea.


  • Volunteer Opportunities

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  • Catalog Assistant: The Athenĉum has only recently started using an electronic catalog and thousands of books need to be entered.  With attention to detail and only minimal training, you can help us make the treasures of the Athenĉum searchable from home or anywhere in the world.
  • Needed: members to assist with general care of the Athenĉum collections (ongoing): shelving, cleaning, typing, and filing catalog cards.
  • Exhibits: The Wendt Room at the Athenĉum is available as an exhibition space-- showcase your personal collections or help select, describe and arrange Athenĉum items for exhibition, and promote the exhibit within the community.

    Please contact the Director for details and to volunteer.

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

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