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  Research Request Policy
The Office of the Grand Secretary, and the Masonic Library and Museum are often requested to perform research on:
  • Genealogical Information
  • current status of an member
  • current address of a member
  • the membership of deceased persons
  • origin and value of various Masonic artifacts

Status of a Member

It is the policy of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to respect the privacy of our members and not to reveal or discuss the status of membership of any living Pennsylvania Mason, except in cases where membership eligibility to join an affiliated body, such as Eastern Star, or Job's Daughters, necessitates this verification.

Address of a Member

If you are trying to contact a Pennsylvania Mason, we will not provide you with the address of record, however, we will gladly transmit a message to that member if you provide your name, address, and a written request to have him contact you.

Membership of Deceased Persons

(for genealogical, fraternal and historical purposes.)

There is an unfounded expectation that such research will reveal a wealth of factual information about a person. While it is true that some individual Lodges may have kept detailed records, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania can only verify if a man was a member in good standing. It is unlikely that any other useful information will be available.

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania only has information on members in this jurisdiction. If a man was made a Mason in any other jurisdiction, we have no record to verify that. There never has been a national or central membership database for Freemasonry in the United States. Additionally, we can usually only verify Lodge membership. If pertinent we can sometimes verify address and occupation at time of petitioning. We do not maintain records of York Rite, Scottish Rite, Shrine, or other affiliated organizations.

Requests received often include extraneous details about the men being researched. This detail does not help us. The information that is useful to us in performing this research for you is the FULL NAME of the subject, last known Pennsylvania address, date of death and, if available, the name or number of the Lodge in which he was reputed to be a member. The occupation and address at time of petitioning may also be helpful to us.

Staff Time

Research is done only during available staff time, when other responsibilities are not pressing. Membership records pertaining to deceased members prior to 1980 are NOT computerized. Therefore, this is a detailed and labor-intensive process that requires significant manual effort. Requests may not be answered for several months.

Origin and Value of Masonic Artifacts

As a general policy, we can only do minimal research on Masonic artifacts and paraphernalia. There are many fine pieces of Masonic regalia, jewelry, artwork, china, furniture, medallions, and commemorative gifts. There are also many of items of great sentimental value, but which have no intrinsic worth. The Masonic Library and Museum is not in the market to purchase or broker the sale of Masonic artifacts. Further, we are not permitted to provide an appraisal service on such items, whether for sale, or given, as gifts, to the Masonic Library and Museum. Antique dealers are best equipped to serve these needs.

Returning Masonic Regalia

If you simply desire to return Masonic regalia, such as swords, Past Master jewels, aprons or other items to the originating Masonic organization, we can put you in touch with the appropriate official. Please understand that, as a rule, these items will not be purchased, but will gladly be received for their sentimental value.

Rare and Historical Items

Occasionally pieces of extreme rarity and historical significance are acquired for our collections. It is difficult, and nearly impossible, to research information on most of these items without visual examination. If you feel that you have an item which would be of interest to us, please forward a color photograph and description to:

Masonic Library and Museum
Masonic Temple
One North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Masonic Presidents Washington's Apron Museum Architecture Samples from the Museum Collection