Boston Public Library
Boston, MA

Explore the Boston Public Library. Learn about exhibitions, author talks, and other special programs. Reserve your books online; download eBooks, audiobooks, and music; and enjoy our stunning collection of images on Flickr. Free to all. And, while you are here, be sure to leave tips of your own.


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The library was founded in 1848 by an act of the Massachusetts legislature and first opened in 1854 in a former schoolhouse located on Mason Street. It moved here to its current building in 1895.

If you live in the state of Massachusetts, you can have a Boston Public Library card. Why not stop in today to sign up?

Bates Hall is named for the Library’s first great benefactor - Joshua Bates (1788-1864). It is 218 long, 42 feet wide, and 50 feet high, to the crown of its barrel vaulted ceiling.

Free art & architecture tours are offered at the Central Library in Copley Square four times each week. They last about an hour.

Go to the fountain open area in the library and check out the marble sculptures and the art galleries in the library.


Most Popular Check-in Times

DaysPopular Time
Mon9:00 AM–7:00 PM
SunNoon–4:00 PM
Fri–Sat9:00 AM–4:00 PM
Thu8:00 AM–7:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM–7:00 PM


4 Lists

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