Book Sale!


Hard Covers. Classics and Collectibles. Thousand of Paperbacks. Vinyl. DVDs & CDs. VHS. Cassettes. Audiobooks. Baby & Children’s Books. Games. Gardening. Animals. Puzzles. Sports. Self-Help. Biography. Photography. Architecture. Science. World War II.

All process support quality programs, workshops, equipment and technology at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

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St Joseph High School: Portrait hung



The Berkshire Athenaeum is proud to have received a portrait of St Joseph High School by local artist Marilyn Larkin. The painting was given to the school in May 2015 by Michael J Nichols (Class of ’65) in memory of his sister, Judy Nichols Maniatis (Class of ’69). At SJHS it was displayed in the reception area outside the principal’s office.



We have chosen to hang this work in the  Berkshire Authors Room of our Local History Department.  We felt a fitting location was immediately above a circa 1855 lithograph by James Colt Clapp, a member of the Colt and Clapp families of Pittsfield. Clapp served as a map lithographer for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. This print overlooks the area where the future SJHS would stand, as seen from the site of the Maplewood Institute.

We invite all SJHS alums to visit during library hours.

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Get Tested at the Library


The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, is partnering with the Berkshire Medical Center’s State Clinic to offer free, confidential health screenings on a walk-in basis. Beginning Monday, July 10, 10 a.m. – 12 noon, and continuing on the second Monday of each month, clinic staff will perform testing for STD, HIV, and Hepatitis C at the library’s balcony level meeting room. All testing is confidential and notifications and follow-up services will be provided by clinic staff.

Athenaeum Outreach Librarian Alex Geller explains, “This is a logical extension of our hosting a number of wellness programs these last few years, which have included blood pressure screening, yoga, and installments of the Mayor’s Fitness initiative.  As everyone knows, a big part of taking care of our health is simply having good information – we can’t address a health concern we don’t know exists – and providing information is and always has been the Athenaeum’s stock-in-trade.”

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Sensory Story Times scheduled for June


The Berkshire Athenaeum is pleased to announce new dates for our ongoing Sensory Story times, targeted to families with children on the autism spectrum. Sensory Story Times for June are scheduled for 11 am – 12 noon on Tuesday, June 13, June 20 and June 27. No registration is required.

Customized to the children’s needs, these programs include prompts to provide a tangible way for children to follow a story line and a structure that helps with transition from one activity to the next. Children’s Librarian Nan Pearson explains, “We’re aware our community includes families with children on the spectrum. We’ve learned these families often don’t feel comfortable in a traditional library story time. This was a gap in our services, a need; and we wanted to create a welcoming space for these kids and their parents.”

Sarah Lynn, Pediatric Development Center professional who manages the Berkshire Early Autism Resources program, will lead the story hour. Also available will be sensory tools/toys from a collection purchased for the library by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

The Sensory Story Time is funded by a grant to the Athenaeum provided through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

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Winners of the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum’s T-shirt Art Contest are Announced!

Art Contest

The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are pleased to announce the winners of their T-Shirt Art Contest.

The first place winner’s designs will be made into T-shirts that will be available for purchase at the Library to help support the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum and the Berkshire Athenaeum in addition to having won $50. Second Prize winners won $25, and Third Prize winners won $10.00 in each category. All winning entries are on display in the library for community members to enjoy.

Without further ado, the winners of the T-shirt Art Contest are:

First Category:
1st Place – Paytan Flint

2nd Place – Andrew Hamill

3rd Place – Yashita Benga

Honorable Mentions – Koby Cross


Second Category:

1st Place – Tessa Hanson

2nd Place – Sariana Soares-Paradise

3rd Place – Matt Mccormack

Honorable mentions- Kiara Mae Fuller

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to all of our participants! All of the designs were incredible.

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World War I: Commemorating Pittsfield’s role

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The Local History Department is proud to present a new exhibit: World War I:100 Years, commemorating Pittsfield’s role in World War I.  Artifacts and newspaper articles take you back to a time of rationing, victory gardens, and patriotic events in Pittsfield.  Come see photographs of Pittsfield’s World War I veterans and read about life in the trenches and on the Home Front.

Find out more about how everyday life in Pittsfield changed during the war and what the citizens did to help with the war effort.

The exhibit will be changing frequently so be sure to check back in to see new photographs, articles, and artifacts.  The exhibit will run through November 2018.

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Short Story Contest for ages 5 – 18: cash prizes awarded!


The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are pleased to announce the 38th Annual Short Story Writing Contest for Children and Young Adults. Contest opens Monday, May 1, 2017.  Application forms available at the Children’s desk and online. Children’s Form at   and Young Adults Form at  There will be five divisions (Aged 5 – 6 years as of June 1, 2017; Aged 7 – 8 years as of June 1, 2017and Aged 9 –10 years as of June 1, 2017;  Aged 11 – 14 years as of June 1, 2017; and Aged 15 – 18 years as of June 1, 2017). If there are not at least ten (10) entries in a division, it may be combined with another. See the Children’s Desk for full rules and application.

Depending upon entries received, the following prizes will be awarded in each division: First Place will receive a $35.00 cash prize, Second Place will receive a $25.00 cash prize, and Honorable Mentions will receive $20.00 cash prizes. Prizes are donated by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum, whose generous and continued support make this contest possible!

Stories will be judged on their originality, appeal, and writing style. Each contestant should submit her/his story to the Berkshire Athenaeum Children’s Library (1 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201); and all entries, whether delivered in person or by mail, must be received by 4:00 PM on Monday, July 17, 2017. Winners will receive their awards at a special ceremony for all participants, which will be held Friday, August 18th at 1:00 PM in the auditorium of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

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