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
Ancient Egyptians Wilkinson
Records of the Past Birch
Egypt from the Earliest Times Birch
The Essenes Ginsburg
The Gnostics King
The Mysteries of Free Masonry Fellows
Alphabets of the Seven Planets Von Hammer
History of Architecture Fergusson
On Architecture Hope
History of Art Lubke
Archaeologa (a compilation) Zion
Acte Latomorum Thory
History of Ancennes Corporations Onin Lacroix
The Romans in Britain H. C. Coote
History and Development of the Guilds Brentano
English Guilds Smith
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
Ahiman Rezon Dermott
Encyclopaedia of Free Masonry Mackey
Royal Encyclopaedia of Free Masonry English
Encyclopaedia of Biblical Literature Kitto
Chamber's Encyclopaedia Chambers
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.

Source: Victoria Masonic WWW BBS