Examples of historical jewels,
regalia and photographs in the
Library and Museum collections
Jewel designed by Alphonse
Mucha for the Grand Lodge
of Czechoslovakia c 1930
Paper apron used during the siege
of Ladysmith – one of many conflict
related items in the collections
The Duke of Connaught in Rhodesia
As part of the application process, the Library and Museum
submitted statements from expert users of the collections.
These included James Stevens Curl, the author of the prizewinning
and pioneering book The Art and Architecture of
Freemasonry, who said that the collections “should be
consulted by any serious scholar working in the field of
national, European and American cultural history”.
Jessica Harland-Jacobs, from the University of Florida,
used the archive and photo collections extensively for her
new book Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British imperialism
1717-1927, and described the Library and Museum as
“a national treasure”.
The field of music, musicians and Freemasonry has seen
much new research recently. Professor Simon McVeigh from
Goldsmiths College led the way, looking at Freemasons’ Hall
as a major London concert venue.
Another researcher in this field, Andrew Pink, described
the value of the collection as being “the complete picture it
presents of the musical culture of the ordinary eighteenth
century man in the street”. The Library and Museum has
recently completed cataloguing its sheet music collection.
For Anthony du Boulay who, amongst his many other
qualifications, is adviser on ceramics to the National Trust,
the ceramics are “by far the most important and comprehensive
collection” of Chinese export porcelain decorated with
The collection of Masonic figures and groups from the
Meissen factory bears comparison with the many examples
he had studied in the National Trust collections.
Dr Nicholas Saunders, Reader in Material Culture at
University College, London has worked with the collections
in his own specialisation of studying conflict-related objects,
describes the collections as “unique” and “opening a door
to several different kinds of academic investigation”.
No wonder the Library and Museum team are proud to
display their certificate!