The Board of Directors of The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania is pleased to submit the following report for the year 1998:
The Staff of The Masonic Library and Museum were happy to help host the Annual Meeting of The Conference of Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries earlier this year in February. Brother John H. C. Minott, our Curator, mounted an exhibit entitled A Short History of The Conference of Grand Masters of Masons of North America, which will be on display until the end of 1998.
October of this year saw two important and positive meetings here at the Temple; both sponsored by the Library and Museum. The first was the Sixth Annual meeting of the Masonic Library and Museum Association, An International Organization of Librarians, Curators & Directors. The group was founded as an off shoot of the Northeast Conference on Masonic Education and Libraries, by the Executive Director, Brother John H. Platt, Jr., the current President of the organization. The group met here for three days, October 15 through the 17, we were happy to have members attending form England, Canada, and throughout the United States. The meeting had a full agenda that was well received by all of those attending. To quote just one of the persons attending, Illustrious Brother Thomas W. Leavitt, Executive Director of the Museum of Our National Heritage, "You have set a standard for the rest of us to try to live up to," you will get a feeling of the thoughts of the entire group.
The second meeting held in connection with the Masonic Library and Museum Association meeting was in conjunction with our Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Library and Museum of Pennsylvania on Thursday evening October 15. It began with dinner in the Grand Banquet Hall and then moved to Ionic Hall, where Edward Voves of The Philadelphia Inquirer, presented a paper on Brother and President Theodore Roosevelt. This year was the 140th Anniversary of the birth of Brother Roosevelt.
In addition to the Conference of Grand Master's Exhibit, there were three other interesting exhibits mounted by our Curator, Brother John H. C. Minott one entitled T. R. President, Freemason & Rough Rider 1858-1919; another one was the 125th Anniversary Of The New Masonic Temple 1873-1998; and the third one was U.S.S. OLYMPIA, Flagship of [the] American Asiatic Squadron, Battle of Manila Bay, Philippines: May 1898. The last exhibit resulted from one of our lodges, St. Alban-Swain Lodge No. 529's participation in Grand Master Ernette's Matching Grant Program.
In connection with the 125th Anniversary celebration of the Temple, The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania was pleased to sponsor an exciting Organ Recital in Corinthian Hall on Sunday afternoon November 8, 1998. This event was the Dedicatory Recital on our new three Manual Rodgers Organ and was played by Dr. John Weaver, World Renowned Organist. Dr. Weaver is head of the Organ Department of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Chair of the Organ Department of The Julliard School of Music in New York City, and has been Director of Music at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church since 1970. Five hundred persons attended. Refreshments were served in the Grand Banquet Hall following the performance. We are happy to announce that this recital was the first of a series to be sponsored by The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania.
Through the generosity of St. John's Lodge No. 115 and the Maxwell Somerville Fund, we are happy to inform our members and friends that we have secured a new custom made display case for the original plaster model of The Friend To Friend Statue. The case was given in memory of Brother Ronald N. Hayes; Brother Hayes was a former Tour Guide at the Temple here in Philadelphia and Organist of St. John's for many years.
Two interesting Masonic items which we received for the Museum were figurines of Brother George Washington and Brother Benjamin Franklin sculpted by the Goebel company, which is the same manufacturer that makes the world famous Hummel figurines. Carolyn S. Ringsdorf presented them in memory of her father the late Brother William P. Ringsdorf and her brother, the late Illustrious Brother W. Dale Ringsdorf.
Our Library Acquisitions Highlights for 1998 are as follows: Sanger, Martha Frick Symington. Henry Clay Frick: an Intimate Portrait. A Presentation copy; the author is a great-granddaughter of Brother Frick. Includes many color plates of art from the Frick Collection. New York: Abbeville Press. [B F8975 Sa2252]; Beltman, Clarence. Masonic Stamps of the World. Milwaukee: American Tropical Association, 1964. Gift of Brother Irving Berg. [N* P8572 B5435 1964]; Kane Joseph Nathan. Necessity's Child: the Story of Walter Hunt, America's Forgotten Inventor. Jefferson, N. C.: McFarland, 1997. Brother Hunt was inventor of, among other things, the safety pin. [B H9435 K1633]; and Beresniak, Daniel. Symbols of Freemasonry. Paris: Editions Assouline, 1997. . Superb illustrations. [A Sy986 B491]
In keeping with our endeavors of collecting artifacts from various fraternal organizations, which share similar traits with Freemasonry, we were delighted to receive a collection of very interesting Odd Fellows items from Brother Robert L. Dluge, Sr., the father of our Deputy Grand Master.
The Executive Director and the Board wishes to thank all of the members of the Masonic Library and Museum staff for their continued support and good work during 1998!
Restoration of windows in the Museum at the Masonic Temple during 1998.
Dr. John Weaver at the console of the new organ in Corinthian Hall. Dedication Recital was on Sunday, November 8, 1998.