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, expresses a special commitment to the Redwood.


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 on all governance matters, including board appointments at the yearly shareholder’s meeting, held since 1747 on the last Wednesday in September.


Throughout its 275-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 limited number of Redwood’s historic original shares are currently being offered at $2,500 each, which are fully tax deductible. Funds from sale of shares are directed to the general endowment to ensure the Redwood’s continued financial sustainability.


For further information please contact:


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