The Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street, London, has for many years been open to visitors from around the world.
It is on many Masons ‘must see’ list when they visit the capital.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of Freemasons’ Hall, the museum, like many other cultural organisations, has had to adapt to being an online resource for those hungry for Masonic knowledge.
Even though the museum will once again open its doors to visitors on 1 September 2020, there are still many people across the globe who will be happy to enjoy a virtual visit and partake of the online offerings.
If you are planning to visit the Museum, do note that they are only opening the North Gallery where you can see the ‘Three Hundred Years of Freemasonry’ exhibition; there are no tours available as yet.
Due to social distancing and the COVID-19 restrictions you will need to book a free timed slot, which you can do HERE
The Museum has been accredited with Visit Britain’s industry standard and consumer mark, confirming that they are following government and public health guidance on Covid-19 and are Good to Go.
All talks are from live webinars recorded over lockdown and are now available on the Museum’s YouTube channel
Latest YouTube Videos . . .
The lost portraits | Museum of Freemasonry | Online talksby Museum of Freemasonry on 13th September 2020
We're going back to school | Museum of Freemasonry | Online talksby Museum of Freemasonry on 7th September 2020
Art from the trenches | Museum of Freemasonry | Online talksby Museum of Freemasonry on 14th August 2020
IMAGE CREDIT: Museum of Freemasonry
How you can get involved
Contribute to the Museum of Freemasonry’s COVID-19 archive #OurCovid19Story
What are freemasons doing to help communities cope in these difficult times?
As part of our contemporary collecting initiative, Museum of Freemasonry is capturing information about what freemasons are doing to help during COVID-19. This may include any fundraising events, volunteer support you are providing for key workers, or stay-at-home support in the community.
We will permanently preserve this material as part of #OurCovid19Story.
As well as collecting paper items like posters, leaflets and brochures, the Museum has a digital archive too. So we can collect all your digital content, which will be very valuable for future access.
You can send us COVID-19 related items such as emails, local hand-washing posters, letters, brochures, circulars, photos, website links, social media content, diaries of lockdown experiences, masks, examples of PPE equipment provided by freemasons, etc. Please make sure you have everyone’s permission to collect this material.
This is especially important for images of community activities, lockdown recollections and details of hardship experiences due to the pandemic.
This is a difficult time for many; let’s do it in a sensitive, respectful and ethical way.
Let people know what you are doing and why; explain that you are collecting to keep a record of this unique situation and respect there may be some high emotions involved.
To get started, send our Archives team an email with your contact details, a description of what you have and why you think we should collect it. Include images if you can.
Help us keep a record of your experience for future generations. Let’s get collecting #OurCovid19Story.
Curios and curiosity
Do you have a mysterious item that you’re curious to know more about?
Sometimes families find a letter, photograph, apron or badge belonging to a family member from the past.
It may have some unusual symbolism, or an acronym with a meaning you’d like to uncover.
Often these items have been hidden in drawers and lofts, lost to memory for years at a time.
If you send us a well-made photograph of your item we may be able to help you identify the subject.
It may be for a particular lodge or chapter, a freemason’s official rank or simply another fraternal order like the Odd Fellows.
In some cases an identification of a lodge and date may be all you need to start a whole new story of discovery about your loved one.
Send a good picture of your item and as much relevant information about the individual who owned the item and we’ll do our best to help you with your research.
This is a free service provided by the Museum’s expert team who are just as curious as you!
Masonic Research Resources
Images, manuscripts, objects and ephemera…
One of the biggest and finest archives of Masonic material is held at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry.
Their reading room, and digital archive, has been a valuable source to Masonic researchers and authors throughout the world.
Not only does the Museum exhibit rare and fascinating objects and ephemera, their stores hold a myriad of treasures.
For those just curious, or those more academic, the online catalogue can take you on a journey of discovery.
Click here to search the catalogue.
Also available are:
Family History – find out if your relative was a Freemason
Lane’s Masonic Records – Masonic Records enables the early history of freemasonry in a particular place to be readily traced and provides information about individual lodges.
Lodge Family Tree – find out more about your own, or any other lodge
Masonic Periodicals Online – Masonic periodicals from the period 1790 to 1900; an absolute treasure trove for researchers
Art UK – a one stop resource to view 165 artworks from the Museum of Freemasonry
The staff at the Library and Museum are there to help you find what you are looking for and they have a wealth of knowledge between them – contact them here, or to find out about becoming a reader and/or making a research visit, click here.
Do note that due to social distancing measures the Library and Archives will only be open to researchers every Wednesday to Saturday. Advance booking is essential – see the Coronavirus Guidelines for Research Visits here – to book a place, email or telephone 020 7395 9257
And last, but not least… make a donation
As a registered charity, the Museum depends on donations to manage and maintain our unique collections. Every donation makes a difference. You can donate online, by post or in person.
Donate by post:
To make a one-off donation by post, make your cheque payable to ‘Museum of Freemasonry’ at Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ.
Donate in person:
They have a donation box in the museum for small cash donations.