Honor the Past

Celebrate the Future

Become a Shareholder of the Redwood Library & Athenæum

A Beacon Institution of the American Enlightenment

Originating from a corporatist model that made all 46 original founders of the Redwood ‘shareholders,’ Redwood shares were conceived after the American Revolution, when momentum gathered to restore the Redwood—and Newport itself—from the depredations of the Revolutionary era.  While bearing no actual monetary value, nor yielding dividends in any conventional sense, a share, made tangible in the form of a certificate issued by the Redwood, expresses a special commitment to the Library. 

Shares represent not only added financial support, but also an avowed belief in the fundamental values that have forever defined the Redwood: the importance of intellectual curiosity, lifelong learning, and civic engagement. Unlike any other membership category, shareholders enjoy a special status as Redwood adherents with the power to vote—at the yearly shareholder’s meeting held since 1747 on the last Wednesday in September—on all governance matters, including board appointments.

Throughout its 272-year existence, the Redwood has seldom offered shares. The first was in 1810, when civic-minded citizens sought to rejuvenate the Redwood; then again in 1857, when the Library planned its first expansion. We are therefore happy to announce that a restricted number of Redwood’s historic original shares are currently available for purchase, with all funds realized strictly apportioned to the general endowment to ensure the Redwood's continued financial sustainability.  

These original shares, which may be bequeathed and which are fully tax-deductible, are being offered at $2,500 each.

For further information please contact:

Current Shareholders may pay their annual assessment online by clicking here.