Library Telescope

The Nantucket Atheneum has a telescope that can be checked out.  The Orion StarBlast telescope is very simply designed, comes with instructions and sits comfortable on a picnic table or a flat hood of a car. [See expanded information HERE]

image of a nigh sky forecast to determine clear night skies
Best viewing conditions are during clear nights when there is no moon (or less than a Quarter/Third moon.) See the “Clear Sky Chart” for Nantuket to see a “night sky forecast.”


If you are at least 18 years old with a CLAMS card in good standing, you can check out the Orion StarBlast telescope for ONE weeks. The kit also contains a manual, constellation guide, and headlamp. Telescopes can be reserved but not renewed.  The check out process takes 10 minutes of instruction, and will require providing a drivers licence, passport, or government ID.  The check-in process take at least 5 minutes – please allow for that time during the return.

Atheneum Special Historic Collection

Special collections of non-circulating books, manuscripts, log books and microfilms are located on the second floor in the Great Hall Reference Department. These collections are searchable through our catalog.

Manuscripts & Logs

The Atheneum houses a small but important collection of ships’ logs, journals, letters and other documents relating to Nantucket. Search manuscripts and logs.

The Atheneum Manuscripts & Logs Database is hosted on the Nantucket Historical Association website

Physical Newspapers

Our collection of Nantucket newspapers spans from 1816, the year that The Nantucket Gazette was first published, to today, with Nantucket’s weekly newspaper, The Inquirer and Mirror. We preserve original copies of these papers. All are available on microfilm for use in the library.

Marine Mammal Conservation Collection

Multicolored Sperm Whale ArtworkThe Atheneum houses a collection of journals (scientific and conservationist), plus papers and articles about whales and other marine mammals covering several decades from the 1970s to present.

This unusual collection covers much of the “save the whales” movement; plus efforts to conserve other marine mammals species such as dolphins, seals, manatees, etc.

As part of the Nantucket Atheneum’s non-circulating reference selections the Marine Mammal Conservation Collection is open to the public free of charge during library hours.