Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Iowa Masonic Library
I have a few days left before I return to school so I took a short drive to the Cedar Rapids – Iowa City area to do a bit of library research. Today I’ve been at the Iowa Masonic Library in C. R. and tomorrow I’ll be in Iowa City at the University of Iowa library.
The Grand Lodge of Iowa A.F. & A.M. Masonic Library is simply amazing. It contains over 100,000 volumes and has been called the largest Masonic library in the world. The Grand Lodge librarian, Bill Krueger, is welcoming and helpful. Although I’ve only been a Mason for a few months, he treated me with respect and took time to answer all of my questions. The most prolific Masonic scholar couldn’t expect more!
I’m researching Masonic symbolism, specifically the symbolic meanings of the Rough and Perfect Ashlars. I’ve found quite a bit of information in the library’s collection so far, including a copy of a full color engraving (dated 1754) which I hope to use in PowerPoint presentation in the near future.
I checked out two books to read this evening, one of which is H. L. Haywood’s Symbolical Masonry. Haywood writes in the preface that he “…spent the larger part of one year…” researching his book in the Iowa Masonic Library. It reminded me of how fortunate I am to be able to use such a facility, if even for a day or two.