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The Providence Athenaeum commissioned this 1838 Greek Revival building to house its lending library, the fourth-oldest in the United States and an innovative concept at the time. Edgar Allan Poe courted Sarah Whitman, his "Annabel Lee," among these shelves. Glances through the old card catalog reveal handwritten cards dating well back into the 1800s; bibliophiles will lose themselves in this evocative place. Rotating exhibits of rare books and works by local artists are additional attractions. The library has money problems that have contributed to a contretemps over ways to raise funds, specifically a decision to sell off an Audubon folio valued at $7 million.