The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry is an accredited museum with a Designated collection- one of the finest publicly available collections of Masonic material in the world.
Archive, Museum, Library
Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm
When the Grand Temple is not in use there are up to 5 tours per day on weekdays at 11am, 12 noon, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Each tour will commence from the Library and Museum (or as otherwise instructed) and visitors are asked to note that photographic ID may be required to be shown before the tour commences.
Closed: Public holidays and the Christmas and New Year period.
Admission to the Library and Museum is free of charge.
The entire collection of the Library & Museum of Freemasonry is a Designated Collection of national importance.
The collections illustrate the international, social and ethnic diversity of the membership including royalty, public figures, scientists and writers as well as the many millions of members from all walks of life. This diversity is represented by objects including an important decorative arts collection, photographs and documents.
The Museum contains an extensive collection of objects with Masonic decoration including pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, furniture and clocks, jewels and regalia. Items belonging to famous and Royal Freemasons including Winston Churchill and Edward VII are on display together with examples from the Museum's extensive collection of prints and engravings, photographs and ephemera.
Library and Museum staff are always pleased to help visitors with enquiries regarding identification or to respond to telephone or written enquiries. There is also a large collection of items relating to non-Masonic fraternal societies such as the Oddfellows and the Sons of the Phoenix.
The Library is open for reference use. It contains a comprehensive collection of printed books and manuscripts on every facet of Freemasonry in England as well as material on Freemasonry elsewhere in the world and on subjects associated with Freemasonry or with mystical and esoteric traditions. The collections include Masonic music, poetry and literature. There are a number of notable examples of fine eighteenth and nineteenth century bindings.
Social History, Personalities, Music, Literature, Fine Art, Design, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Architecture
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Three Centuries of English Freemasonry
- 1 September 2016 — 31 December 2020 *on now
Illustrates the history of freemasonry since the formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717 using objects, books and documents
- Any age
Goldoni, the Freemasons and the Mysteries: the female discovery trope in 18th century theatre
- 9 May 2018 6:30-8pm
Classics and Ancient History Tutor at St Anne's College, Oxford, Matthew Leigh is particularly interested in the comedies of Carlo Goldoni (1707–93), whose play, A Servant of Two Masters had a successful recent West End and Broadway revival as One Man, Two Guv’nors, staring James Corden.
Goldoni's Le donne curiose (1753) is one of several French and Italian dramas responding to the extraordinary growth of freemasonry across Europe after the foundation of the London Grand Lodge in 1717. It demonstrates a close affinity with Pierre Clément's Les fri-maçons (Paris, 1737) and Francesco Griselini's I liberi muratori (Venice, 1754).
This free talk examines how such plays introduce key features of masonic ceremonies and how they identify with a continuation of ancient mysteries. The discovery trope in 18th century drama may originate from the initiation in c.1712 of Elizabeth St. Leger (later Aldworth) in an Irish Lodge, after she was discovered observing a meeting.
Free event but please book a ticket at https://freemasonrymuseum.eventbrite.co.uk
Museums at Night: Symbols
- 17 May 2018 6-8:30pm
UPDATE: TICKETS TO THIS EVENT HAVE NOW SOLD OUT.
Come and join us for Museums at Night and learn more about the symbols of Freemasonry.
For centuries symbols have been used to represent ideas or qualities and they are universally used in modern life. Freemasons use symbols to reinforce moral lessons and, when combined with words in their ceremonies, this creates a memorable learning environment.
Throughout the evening there will be gallery talks about star items in the Library and Museum’s collection – including Winston Churchill’s apron. Meet a Freemason who will talk to you about the symbols used on their regalia and in ceremonies. Why not try your hand at making a picture using symbols to illustrate your own messages and principles. Join a tour to the Grand Temple to see the vast array of symbols contained within or just come and relax at the pop-up bar and enjoy music inspired by symbols. Everyone is welcome and activities are free.
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
60 Great Queen Street
020 7395 9257