Iowa Freemasonry is a personal journal of a Freemason in central Iowa. This blog documents my Masonic research interests, experiences, and reflections. Welcome!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New reading material

I have some new, and some old, reading material on my shelf this week. I’m finishing the introduction in my paper on the symbolism of the Ashlar in Freemasonry and I requested two books from the Iowa Masonic Library to help me fill in the weak areas. I’ve borrowed the first title before- The Craft and its Symbols: Opening the Door to Masonic Symbolism by Allen E. Roberts. Actually, I think this may be the third time I’ve borrowed it! I like this book a lot. Roberts summarizes common and not so common symbols in a clear, concise way that doesn’t patronize the reader. It’s a very short book, and yet it does a great job covering a comprehensive number of Masonic symbols. And at least one Masonic librarian agrees with me: Roberts’ book is on the list of suggested titles from a recent article on the Supreme Council’s website.

A second book I borrowed from the Grand Lodge of Iowa A.F. & A.M. Masonic Library is Mark Tabbert’s American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities. This book comes highly recommended as well. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m curious especially to read this author because of his Iowa Masonic roots. I attended the Des Moines Scottish Rite’s Blue Lodge Breakfast last week and we were treated to a short video about George Washington and the National Masonic Memorial, of which Tabbert is the Director of Collections. Shane Harshbarger, the DSM Scottish Rite’s Master of Kadosh introduced the video by telling us that Tabbert was raised in Iowa. I did a little more research and found out that indeed, he was raised in Malta Lodge #318 in Burlington.

The third book I have waiting for me is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry by S. Brent Morris. I just picked this up at Barnes and Noble with a gift card I received at Christmas.

Now if I can just put the books down long enough to get that intro finished!

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