Thirty Years of Research
After thirty years of research into the history of masonry and its origin, and for the last eleven years having been fortunate to have the library in the Memorial to draw on for those ancient books which are no longer available except in libraries. Yet, in all that I have read I often feel I have only scratched the surface of the great spider web of history. In spite of what knowledge I have acquired I am often asked questions which I am unable to answer without going into details which the unenlightened do not understand.
There is an old adage, "He who would bring back the wealth of the Indies, must take the wealth of the Indies with him."
I was once asked "What is the most difficult question I had been asked?"
I believe the most agonizing question, is one which I have been asked many times, it goes as follows.
A young Mason of a few years at most, will come into the Memorial and want to go to the library for research. He will be introduced to me, and I will ask, "What phase of Masonry are you interested in?" he will reply, "I want to know all there is to know about Masonry?"
I have never been able to answer his question nor explain why I can not hand him a book which he can read in one hour and which will tell him all about Masonry.
To know all there is to know about Masonry you would have to read all of the following books, which are generally accepted as being most authentic.
It must also be remembered that these books deal only with the History and evolution of masonry, it will give you very little in the way of Jurisprudence or ritual of modern day masonry.
|Secret Societies of all ages and Countries||Heckethorn|
|History of Ancient Egypt||Rawlinson|
|Egypt's Place in History||Brusen|
|Records of the Past||Birch|
|Egypt from the Earliest Times||Birch|
|The Mysteries of Free Masonry||Fellows|
|Alphabets of the Seven Planets||Von Hammer|
|History of Architecture||Fergusson|
|History of Art||Lubke|
|Archaeologa (a compilation)||Zion|
|History of Ancennes Corporations||Onin Lacroix|
|The Romans in Britain||H. C. Coote|
|History and Development of the Guilds||Brentano|
|The History of Freemasonry (London ed.)||Carson|
|American edition of the same||Carson|
|Masonic Sketches and Reprints||Hughan|
|Early History and Antiquities of Free Masonry||Fort|
|History of Free Masonry in Europe||Rebold|
|History of Free Masonry||Laurie|
|History of Free Masonry||Findel|
|History of Free Masonry||Krause|
|History of Free Masonry||Mitchell|
|History and Digest||Mitchell|
|Origin and Early History of Free Masonry||Steinbrenner|
|Masonic History + the A+A Scottish Rite||Folger|
|History of the Knights Templars||Addison|
|History of the Knights Templars||De Vogue|
|Illustrations of Free Masonry||Preston|
|The Traditions of Free Masonry||Preston|
|Land Marks of Free Masonry||Oliver|
|Constitutions of Masonry||Anderson|
|Encyclopaedia of Free Masonry||Mackey|
|Royal Encyclopaedia of Free Masonry||English|
|Encyclopaedia of Biblical Literature||Kitto|
|Dictionary of the Bible||Smith|
|Clark's Commentaries||Adam Clark|
|Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire||Gibbon|
|History of Germany||Kolrausch|
|History of England||Macauley|
And this my student is only the beginning, I am certain you can find many more books which make reference to Masonry, such as the traveling builders with their families, referred to by Herodotus in his Histories.