Museum of Freemasonry

museum of freemasonry north gallery
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Discover 300 years of freemasons' history. Your journey starts here. Free entry, open to all.

At Museum of Freemasonry, our goal is to help you learn about freemasonry in all its cultural richness. If you’re a freemason, the Museum is a treasure trove for exploration. If you’re not a freemason, it’s the perfect place to visit and discover what freemasonry is all about.

Our exhibitions and events illuminate the history of freemasonry, explore its traditions and values, and reveal its significance through the ages and around the world.

Venue Type:

Archive, Museum, Library, Heritage site

Opening hours

Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm

Closed: Sundays, Public holidays and the Christmas and New Year period.

Admission charges

Admission is free

Getting there

Find us opposite the corner of Long Acre and Drury Lane, only a 5 minute walk from Covent Garden or Holborn Tube stations.

Like most museums only a fraction of our collection is on display. We look after an extraordinary array of artefacts, many almost 300 years old. These include songbooks, ceremonial regalia and snuffboxes handmade by Napoleonic prisoners of war. Together, our museum, library and archive collections have been awarded Designated Outstanding status.

In total we have about 30,000 objects related to freemasonry and other fraternal societies, and we’re still collecting. The library contains a vast collection of nearly 60,000 items. These include books, pamphlets and manuscripts related to freemasonry and esoteric traditions globally.

If every box in the archive collection was laid end-to-end, the line would stretch from Freemasons’ Hall to Euston Underground Station and back. That’s 3.25km of documents, drawings, private papers, photographs and audiovisual material. The collection includes the records of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Supreme Grand Chapter and various masonic charities. It also includes archives relating to individual freemasons, lodges and chapters.

You can view material in storage by making an appointment. To access library and archive material, first you need to register as a reader. See our Research pages for more details.

Collection details

Social History, Personalities, Music, Literature, Fine Art, Design, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Architecture, World Cultures, Religion

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Bartholomew Ruspini

GENEROUS DENTIST: BARTHOLOMEW RUSPINI

  • 17 May 2021 — 7 February 2022

As dentists go, it’s hard to find one who brings more joy to the world than Bartholomew Ruspini.

Having settled in England in the 1750s, Italian dentist Ruspini joined the freemasons in channelling Enlightenment values through his profession and philanthropy.

He transformed dental care, providing free tooth powder and mouthwash to poor Londoners.

This generous dentist established a charity to support the families of freemasons out of work; set up a school specifically to help the daughters of freemasons in need, and began a tradition known as the charity festival, whereby members band together to raise funds for good causes in their communities.

Visit the free exhibition to see rare and personal items from Ruspini himself, including portraits, letters and archival materials. There is early dental care paraphernalia from toothbrushes to toothpaste tins and more.

Discover this hidden legend for yourself at Museum of Freemasonry.

Free and open to everyone.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://museumfreemasonry.org.uk/whats-on/generous-dentist-bartholomew-ruspini

Bartholomew Ruspini

BARTHOLOMEW RUSPINI: INTRODUCING THE GENEROUS DENTIST

  • 25 May 2021 7:30-8:30pm

Museum of Freemasonry Online Talks: Spring Season 2021.

Museum of Freemasonry’s new exhibition Generous Dentist focuses on the life and times of Bartholomew Ruspini, freemason, philanthropist and dentist to 18th-century society.

Join Susan Snell, Archivist and Records Manager to find out more about this charismatic and sociable Italian. Ruspini revolutionised English dental care and set up a new charity to help children of freemasons with health or financial problems.

Listen as Susan sweeps you back to 18th-century London: trendy turtle dinners, a lottery for a Michelangelo cabinet, managing royal patrons and an opera singer in prison all appear in this entertaining talk.

Free and open to everyone.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://museumfreemasonry.org.uk/whats-on/bartholomew-ruspini-introducing-generous-dentist

Freemasonry as a woman

ILLUSTRATING FREEMASONRY: THE FRONTISPIECES OF THE BOOKS OF CONSTITUTIONS

  • 8 June 2021 7:30-8:30pm

Museum of Freemasonry Online Talks: Spring Season 2021.

The Constitutions are the rulebooks of the Grand Lodges that organised English freemasonry during its first one hundred years.

Our Librarian, Martin Cherry, introduces the artists and engravers of the frontispieces of these books from 1723 to 1819, their connections to freemasonry and some of their other notable works.

Join Martin for a fully illustrated and illuminating talk as he offers theories about what the frontispieces were trying to say about freemasonry, the Grand Lodges who commissioned them and their rivals.

He will also explore how some if these iconic images were appropriated internationally as organised freemasonry spread from London to a world phenomenon as the century progressed.

Free and open to everyone.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://museumfreemasonry.org.uk/whats-on/illustrating-freemasonry-frontispieces-books-constitutions

Getting there

Find us opposite the corner of Long Acre and Drury Lane, only a 5 minute walk from Covent Garden or Holborn Tube stations.

Museum of Freemasonry
Freemasons' Hall
60 Great Queen Street
London
Greater London
WC2B 5AZ
England

Website

http://museumfreemasonry.org.uk

E-mail

contact@museumfreemasonry.org.uk

Telephone

020 7395 9257

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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