Greetings from the Library Committee!
Brethren we are the stewards of the largest collection of Masonic books in the state and are in the process of making this collection available to all Brethren seeking more Light.
Our collection comprises over seven thousand volumes going back to the 1500s, the majority of which were collected during Brother R. P. Lee’s tenure as Librarian from 1919 to the 1920s (attached is Brother Lee’s book). It was he and the Brothers involved that acquired most of the collection, to be a premier resource of Masonic research. Our large Foreign collection would be of particular interest worldwide.
The committee which comprises 19 Brothers is committed to organizing the books, lectures and artifacts and presenting them in a digitized form. It was the wish of our past Librarian Ill. Brother Medford Kelly that the resources be used to link the Scottish Rite Valleys and Lodge of Perfection together throughout the State. With this as a goal we have started digitizing and organizing the vast collection. Brother Glenn Kiecker is making use of the collection to compile stories of 10,000 notable Minnesota Masons, telling their stories.
The Library and Museum collection houses many original documents and historically pertinent artifacts going back to the founding of our Nation and the founding of the Scottish Rite. Albert Pike visited here many times. The Brothers have been donating to this cause since the 1850’s and we have much from the founders of the Scottish and York Rites, as well as the Appendant Bodies and Grand Lodges. We are continually receiving donations, expanding what we can offer those seeking.
As stewards of this collection we are fashioning a service that will benefit the Masonry Statewide, to make use of the materials that the Brethren have left us for our continued Masonic journey. To date we have digitized 275 books and are updating the catalog of the collection. Organizing and sharing in digital form this material that is accessible 24/7 we believe would be a valuable asset to the Membership.
Our committee is divided into four sections to accomplish this goal; Digitizing, Cataloging, Education and P.R. There are many things we need to move forward, upgrades to our current system and donations are always welcome. The service is based on the Obligations, Virtues and Principals and elevating the Brother next to you. It is time to celebrate the Legacy given to us and more efficiently preserve it for future generations.
Peter Tomlinson, 32° K.C.C.H.
* * * We have recently published a small sampling of the digitized books in our collection. Please feel free to use these texts for research purposes, or simply for your reading pleasure. If you enjoy this resource, please consider making a donation to the Minneapolis Valley Library Foundation. We need your help to maintain this rare collection.