Library & Museum
Annual Report of the Library &
Museum Charitable Trust
As at 31 January 2004 the consolidated net
assets of the Library and Museum Charitable
Trust were £707,373 (2003: £709,027)
which included £349,043 (2003: £470,153)
received as Gift Aid from United Grand
Lodge to support the ongoing activity and
expenses of the Library and Museum.
Whilst the activities of the Library and
Museum are funded largely by United Grand
Lodge, other income is raised from fees
charged for genealogical research, donations
and booking fees for Saturday tours.
The Friends of the Library and Museum
established in 2001, enables individuals
(whether Freemasons or not), Lodges
and Chapters to support the Library and
Museum by way of an annual subscription.
The year to 31 January 2004 represented
the first full year of trading by Letchworth’s
(Freemasons’ Hall, London) Limited
(“Letchworths”) which was acquired
by the Library and Museum in 2002.
Letchworths has made a substantial Gift
Aid contribution to the Library £133,260
(2003: nil). The investment is valued at cost.
In July 2002 the Library and Museum was
awarded a grant of £65,700 by the Heritage
Lottery Fund to catalogue and conserve
1,700 letters and 14,700 returns covering the
history of Freemasonry
The project was completed in February
2004 when catalogues were made available
on the free Access to Archives (A2A)
searchable website (www.a2a.org.uk)
as part of the National Archives Network.
The National Archives provided partnership
funding to support the grant.
The Council would like to thank the
Supreme Grand Chapter, the London Grand
Rank Association and the Friends
of the Library and Museum for their
The 2003 summer exhibition ‘Art of the
Apocalypse – Trench Art Objects from
the Armada to Bosnia’ was held at
Freemasons’ Hall, London from 30
June to 20 September.
The exhibition was inspired by
the research of Dr Nicholas Saunders
(Lecturer at University College London)
whose innovative work has put the
subject of Trench Art 1914-39 in an
The exhibition combined Masonic and
non-Masonic artefacts and attracted a wide
range of interest from press, public and
Freemasons. It received favourable reviews
in The Times and the Independent.
The book Craft and Conflict written
by the Curator, Mark J R Dennis, and
Nicholas Saunders in association with
the Trench Art exhibition, was published
by Savannah Publications.
The changing series of exhibitions in
the Library and Museum itself included
one on Ladies Nights. From September
to December 2003 an exhibition, Love
and Hate, featuring a large number of
documents conserved and catalogued
with the help of the Heritage Lottery
Fund grant mentioned above was mounted.
This exhibition formed part of Archives
Awareness Month held in September.
The exhibition, the Library and Museum
and the ceremonial rooms of Freemasons’
Hall were opened on Saturday 19 September
as part of this event and also for London
Open House. More than 2,500 visitors were
received that day. Plans were well advanced
for the exhibition of engraver John Pine.
Special openings or tours were held for a
number of groups including the Friends of
the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Silver
Study Group, the National Art Collections
Fund and the National Association of
Decorative and Fine Art Societies.
The Library and Museum took part in
two national museum events: Museums and
Galleries Month in May 2003, organising
‘Aprons for Everyone’ which concentrated
on the crafts involved in the manufacture
of regalia with demonstrations and items
to handle, and the Campaign for Drawing’s
The Big Draw in October 2003 when ‘Art
and Craft’ gave visitors the opportunity to
sketch the collections under the guidance
of Jo Weir, a local artist.
Library and Museum staff undertook a
number of outside engagements. Mark
Dennis, the Curator, arranged and took
part in a session at the Museums Association
2003 conference to introduce curators to
the importance and diversity of fraternal
material. A temporary exhibition co-curated
by Fay Newman, the Assistant Curator, and
opened by the Lady Mayor of Brighton and
Hove, accompanied this conference session.
The Librarian, Rebecca Coombes,
jointly presented a paper at the Public
History Conference at Ruskin College,
Oxford in April with Professor Andrew
Prescott, called Fraternal Communications:
the Membership Records of Freemasonry.
She also gave a talk entitled Fraternal
Communications: Masonic Newspapers
and Periodicals in The Library and Museum
of Freemasonry, to the London Archive
Users Forum in November 2003.
The Director, Diane Clements, presented
a paper on Sir Michael Costa to the 5th
International Canonbury Conference in
November 2003, as well as giving a number
of talks to Lodges and a presentation to the
Public Schools Lodges Council.
In September 2003 the Library and
Museum launched its own website,
which includes free on-line access to
the electronic catalogue of the library,
museum and archive collections.
The Council would like to express its
thanks to the Director and staff of the
Library and Museum for their commitment
to the objectives of the Library and Museum
and their hard work and enthusiasm in
working towards their realisation.
Web site created by Mark Griffin