The Academy of Masonic Knowledge

Academy of Masonic Knowledge Logo

The Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge strives to create an environment that encourages Masons to seek a greater understanding of the nature and purposes of Freemasonry in all its many aspects – past, present, and future – and to share that understanding with others.

To this end, the Academy offers learning opportunities in which Masons may participate in dialogues with similarly inclined brethren, witness prominent Masonic scholars discussing various aspects of Freemasonry, and pursue home study at their own pace and in their own areas of interest, through publications on Masonic subjects recommended by the Academy.

In addition to providing a learning experience for Freemasons, the Academy is a vehicle affording recognition to Masons who share their knowledge of Freemasonry with fellow Masons or the public by the written or spoken word.

  • Theodore W. Schick, Jr., Lodge No. 673, Chairman
  • Thomas W. Jackson, R.W.P.G.S., Lodge No. 315
  • Charles S. Canning, Lodge No. 673
  • Paul D. Fisher, Lodge No. 549
  • John W. Postlewait, Lodge No. 276
  • William R. Rininger, P.E., Lodge No. 537
  • James L. Sieber, Lodge No. 315
  • George R. Haynes, Lodge No. 91
  • Erastus Z. Allen, Lodge No. 812

This logo symbolizes the Academy of Masonic Knowledge’s unyielding pursuit of academic ideas, the achievements of our past, the bright future ahead for Freemasonry, and the fraternity’s dedication to high goals.

  • The Laurel symbolizes victory, or triumph, and the continued pursuit of academic ideals.
  • The Field, or Banner, refers to ideals of essential importance: Alpha, or Advancement of Organizational Ideals; Sigma, or Scholastic Achievement; Gamma, or Fellowship
  • The Torches are symbolic of learning, and remind us that every person is a potential source of knowledge, with the added responsibility to bring enlightenment to all whom he encounters.
  • The Chevron is symbolic of rank, or merit. The three points of the Chevron represent the individual Brother, his Masonic affiliation, and the Nation.
  • The Shield, bearing the Square and Compasses and the letter “G,” symbolizes protection of our fraternity through the dissemination of God’s Truth.


Saturday, March 19, 2016
Freemasons Cultural Center
Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, PA
The program for the day is a discussion with the Brothers of the Masonic Roundtable Podcast.

The 2016 Spring session of the Academy of Masonic Knowledge will be held on Saturday, March 19, in the Deike Auditorium of the Freemasons Cultural Center on the campus of the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 9:30 a.m. A lunch (requested contribution of $10) will be served at noon and the program will be completed by 3:00 p.m. All Masons are welcome to attend. Dress is coat and tie.

Pre-registration is required.

To pre-register, please send your name, address, Lodge number and telephone by e-mail to:

If you do not have access to e-mail, please make your reservation through your Lodge Secretary.

Please recognize that a cost is incurred to the program for your registration. If you pre-register and subsequently determine that you will be unable to attend, please have the Masonic courtesy to cancel your reservation by the same method and providing the same information.

The Masonic Roundtable is a weekly panel of Masons from around the United States who discuss the latest and greatest in Masonic news, events, scholarship, and happenings.

Jon T. Ruark

Bro. Jon Ruark is a Past Master of The Patriot Lodge No. 1957 in Fairfax, VA. His love of technology and gadgets led him to start The Masonic Roundtable as a Hangout on Air. His Masonic interests lean toward the esoteric and philosophical aspect. He lives in Virginia with his wife, 3 children, a dog named Copernicus, and 2 cats; Tesla and Edison.

Jason Richards

Bro. Jason Richards is an officer in Acacia Lodge No. 16 in Clifton, VA, where he was raised in 2012. A historian by trade, his favorite Masonic topics include the history of American Freemasonry, the sociocultural impact of Freemasonry, and the evolution of Freemasonry since the early 1900’s. He is the writer of the Masonic blog “The 2-Foot Ruler: Masonry in Plain Language” ( He lives in Virginia with his wife, cats, and ever-expanding collection of bow ties.

Juan Sepulveda

Bro. Juan ‘One’ Sepulveda is a member of Eola Lodge No. 207 F. & A.M. in Orlando Florida. He is a professional artist and shortly after becoming a Freemason, he decided to develop a collection of Masonic Art and Custom Masonic Aprons. It was a natural progression to his creative work, since he is passionate for history, Masonic education and allegorical teachings. Today, Juan’s artwork is part of private and corporate collections in the United States, South America, The Caribbean, Europe and Australia. Juan Sepúlveda is the host of The Winding Stairs Freemasonry Podcast and is a public speaker who specializes in the topics of Art, Freemasonry and the art of self-improvement.

Nick Johnson

Bro. Nick Johnson is best known as the lead blogger at the Millennial Freemason blog. A lover of codes, symbols, esoteric craziness, and “secret” stuff, he became interested in Freemasonry and its symbols as a young man. With the help of his grandfather, Bro. Nick joined Corinthian Lodge No. 67 in Farmington, MN in the spring of 2006 and served as Master in 2010. He is also a Past High Priest of Corinthian Chapter No. 33, RAM, Deputy Master of Northfield Council No. 12, R&SM, and Generalissimo of Faribault Commandery No. 8. He’s also involved in AMD, Knight Masons, and the Sovereign College. He lives in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area with his wife and kids, and some cats.

Robert Johnson

Bro. Robert Johnson is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois, and is the Senior Warden of Waukegan Lodge #78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council, Knights Templar, AMD and the Scottish Rite (32nd degree). Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) which focuses on Freemasonry ( ). In addition, produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and will write original Masonic papers from time to time. He is the managing editor of the “Midnight Freemasons” blog as well. He is a husband and father of 3. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is also working on three books, all of which are Masonic in nature. Also, he does not have any cats.


All Pennsylvania Masons are encouraged to join the Academy of Masonic Knowledge. Registration and membership is free of charge. Joining entitles you to notification of future meetings of the academy and other pertinent information as it becomes available. Joining the academy does not obligate you to the Certification Program. However, if you wish to participate in the Certification Program, you must register.

Click here for the Membership form.

To register, complete the Registration form and mail it to:

William R. Rininger
1120 Karen Street
Boalsburg, PA 16827-1642

Certification Program

External studies programs are currently the fastest growing of all educational methods and the most diverse. The Committee of the Academy of Masonic Knowledge will attempt to provide to you the basic tools and principles for your study. How well you use these tools in your pursuit of Masonic knowledge will be analyzed and determined through your Evaluation Reports. It is important to your success that you not only know the subject, but that you demonstrate an ability to identify and apply the Masonic principles you have learned. The best ideas are those that work and the best scholars are leaders who set the pace for putting their thoughts and knowledge into action.

If you are to play an important role in our society, you must be prepared to deal not only with the known, but to understand and create new solutions to ever-changing problems in a world where the dynamics of every situation are ever-increasing in intensity and diversity. You must be able to survive in an environment where available knowledge is increasing so rapidly that yesterday’s solutions simply may not apply.

Leadership is the ability to make decisions now while allowing enough flexibility to change and enough stability to make your decisions effective.

The Committee of the Academy of Masonic Knowledge looks forward to your success and to assisting you in the fulfillment of your objectives.

Master Masonic Scholar Jewel

Pennsylvania Masons who complete all three certification levels and attain the designation of “Master Masonic Scholar” will be presented a collar and jewel that can be worn to any Masonic meeting.

Certification Process

General correspondence with the Academy should be addressed to:

Thomas W. Jackson, R.W.P.G.S.
210 Middle Spring Road
Shippensburg, PA 17257-8615

Correspondence pertaining to the Certification Program should be addressed to:

William R. Rininger
1120 Karen Street
Boalsburg, PA 16827-1642

MEU’s (Masonic Education Units) will be used as the standard measurement for recording achievement.

Each level contains basic and core information as its anchor. However, the requirements are formulated to allow you some flexibility to pursue individual interests. Avenues are provided for earning certification in a variety of ways.

For those who feel they have already completed an equivalent number of MEU’s via previous study, enrolling in a higher level is permissible so long as you can verify your proficiency to the Academy of Masonic Knowledge. This proficiency is demonstrated by submitting an Evaluation Report, with cover sheet, for each unit of previously completed work for each MEU that you request.

Eight MEU’s are required for certification. Level 1 requirements are a mechanism to help all participants develop an entry-level interest in the program as well as a basic knowledge of Freemasonry. These requirements serve as the foundation on which you can build a quality personal education program. To provide for a variety of individual interests the eight MEU’s will be earned from the following list:

Activity MEU’s Maximum MEU’s
Read and submit an Evaluation Report for three of the Level One books listed below.
1 per book 3
Read additional books from the Recommended Books List or other Masonic books and submit Evaluation Reports for them
1 per book 5
Attend an Academy of Masonic Knowledge Seminar or a Masonic research meeting, and submit an Evaluation Report ½ MEU per session 2
Present a Masonic Education program to any Masonic Body or to a public gathering. (20 minutes or longer)** 1 for each different presentation 3
Compose a Masonic article, suitable for publication. (1000 words minimum)* 1 for each different article 3

* To receive Masonic Education Unit credit for any activity, you are required to submit a written Evaluation Report describing your activity. For presentations and programs, submit a copy of the program text or an outline of it along with the Evaluation Report Cover Sheet.

Suggested subjects for level elective reading:

  • Allen E. Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, 1974
  • Bernard E. Jones, Freemason’s Guide and Compendium, 1950,1956
  • John J. Robinson, A Pilgrims Path, 1993
  • Joseph Fort Newton, The Builders, 1914
  • Allen E. Roberts, The Mystic Tie, 1991
  • Fred L. Pick & G. Norman Knight, The Pocket History of Freemasonry, 1953
  • William A. Carpenter, The Exemplar, A Guide to a Mason’s Actions, 1985
  • PA Grand Lodge, Handbook of Masonic Education and Tools of the Craft, 1999
  • General Information about Freemasonry
  • Philosophy of Freemasonry
  • History of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
  • Symbolism and Freemasonry

Nine MEU’s required for certification. To provide for a variety of individual interests/study for Masonic leaders, the nine MEU’s will be earned from the following list:

Activity MEU’s Maximum MEU’s
Read and submit an Evaluation Report for three of the books listed below
1 per book 3
Read additional books from the Recommended Books List or other Masonic books and submit an Evaluation Report for each
1 per book 4
Attend an Academy of Masonic Knowledge Seminar or a Masonic research meeting and submit an Evaluation Report* ½ MEU per session 2
Present a Masonic Education program to any Masonic Body or to a public gathering. (20 minutes or longer)* 1 per presentation 3
Compose a Masonic article, suitable for publication. (1000 words minimum)* 1 per article 3

*To receive a Masonic Education Unit for any activity, you are required to submit an Evaluation report describing your activity. For presentations, articles, and programs, submit a copy of the program or article text or an outline of it along with the Evaluation Report Cover Sheet.

You are required to read and submit Evaluation reports for three of the following books for Level Two Certification:

  • Huss, The Master Builders, (3 Volumes – one credit for each volume)
  • Bullock, Revolutionary Brotherhood
  • Haggard, The Clergy and the Craft
  • Roy, Stalwart Builders – G.L. of Mass., 1735-1970
  • Leaser, Fundamentalism and Freemasonry
  • Thorn, The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • DeHoyas & Morris, Is it True What They Say About Freemasonry?
  • Welchans, History of Lodge No. 43, F&AM
  • Johnson, The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America
  • Coil, Freemasonry Through Six Centuries
  • Borneman, Early Freemasonry in Pennsylvania
  • G.L. of England, Grand Lodge of England 1717 – 1967
  • Smith, Douglas, Working the Rough Stone: Freemasonry and Society in Eighteenth- Century Russia, Northern Illinois Univ. Press, 1999
  • Jasper Ridley, The Freemasons

Recommended subjects for elective reading:

  • Freemasonry and religion – factual information
  • Freemasonry’s response to critics
  • Freemasonry and the world
  • Freemasonry and our nation

Ten MEU’s required for certification. To provide for a variety of individual interests/study as a dedicated Masonic Scholar, the 10 MEU’s will be earned from the following list:

Activity MEU’s Maximum MEU’s
Read and submit an Evaluation Report for three of the books listed below
1 per book 3
Conduct a Masonic research project and submit a scholarly research paper to the Academy of Masonic Knowledge
3 3
Read additional books from the Recommended Books List or other Masonic books and submit an Evaluation Report for each book
1 per book 4
Attend an Academy of Masonic Knowledge Seminar or a Masonic research meeting and submit an Evaluation Report ½ MEU per session 1
Present a Masonic Education program to any Masonic Body or to a public gathering. (20 minutes or longer)* 1 per each different presentation 3
Compose a Masonic article, suitable for publication. (2000 words minimum)* 1 per article 3

*To receive Masonic Education Unit(s) for any activity, you are required to submit an Evaluation Report with Cover Sheet describing your activity. For presentations and programs, submit a copy of the program text or an outline of it along with the Evaluation Report Cover Sheet.

You are required to read and submit an Evaluation Report for three of the books listed below for Level Three Certification:

  • Jasper Ridley, The Freemasons (if not read for Level Two)
  • Bullock, Revolutionary Brotherhood (if not read for Level Two)
  • Jacobs, Margaret, Living the Enlightenment
  • Pound, Masonic Addresses and Writings of Roscoe Pound
  • Sachse, Old Masonic Lodges of PA, Moderns and Ancients, 1730 – 1800
  • Carr, The Early French Exposures
  • Carr, The Collected Prestonian Lectures
  • Dyer, William Preston and His Work
  • Dumenil, Freemasonry and American Culture
  • Knoop, Jones & Hamer, The Early Masonic Catechisms
  • Wells, The Rise and Development of Organized Freemasonry
  • Vaughn, The Anti-Masonic Party in the U.S., 1826-1842
  • Horne, King Solomon’s Temple in the Masonic Tradition
  • DiBernardo, Giulano, Freemasonry and Its Image of Man, D.J. Costello, Ltd., Kent, England

Suggested subjects for elective reading:

  • Origin of Freemasonry
  • Historical Masonic theory
  • Influence of Freemasonry on society

Administrative Policy

The Academy of Masonic Knowledge reserves the right to make changes in all manuals, publications, book lists, catalogs and policies affecting the certification program as may be required, necessary, and appropriate.

All Pennsylvania Masons are encouraged to join the Academy of Masonic Knowledge. Registration and membership is free of charge. See the information above regarding membership to register today!

All student records in the possession of the Academy are considered property of the Grand Lodge and are treated confidentially. Records will not be released to outside persons or agencies unless a request is made by the student.

Academic documents become the property of the Grand Lodge and may be used, with permission, for further academic and research purposes.

Students may be dismissed from the certification program for the following reasons:

  • Demonstrating consistent low academic achievement in their work
  • Inactivity in the Masonic Scholar Certification program for two years
  • Participating in unethical conduct or academic dishonesty
A student who has been dismissed from the certification program may be considered for reinstatement if he demonstrates to the Committee that prior academic problems have been remedied and that he is prepared to resume proper participation.
Students successfully completing all requirements for each level of certification will be awarded a certificate signifying their level of Masonic education achievement.
The certification curriculum has been carefully designed by the Committee of Masonic Knowledge to offer a wide variety of subjects that may to be studied and that will meet the ever-changing needs of today’s Mason. There are three levels of certification. These levels are designed in such a way that one level of certification will build upon the knowledge gained in the preceding one. We encourage you to take notes or make notations on important topics and issues as you study or participate in Masonic Education Unit earning tasks. This will assist you in compiling your Evaluation Reports.

Copies of the required and elective books are generally available from the following sources:

  • Grand Lodge Library
  • Lodge libraries
  • Local libraries
  • Masonic book and supply sources
  • Local book stores
  • Private libraries

When you complete a book or other credit earning activity, you will compile an Evaluation Report and submit it to William R. Rininger, 1120 Karen Street, Boalsburg, PA 16827-1642.

An Evaluation Report is required for each Masonic Education Unit awarded. An Evaluation Report is not a book report. The purpose of the report is to demonstrate that you have achieved a comprehensive understanding of the material covered as well as made an educated evaluation of the material including its credibility and its impact on you. The intention of the report is to permit maximum range of expression; you may relate each activity to your field of interest, your profession, or to current issues. This approach permits flexibility to analyze the materials from many different perspectives. You may augment the Evaluation Report with supplemental readings or personal knowledge.

While the recommended books are comprehensive in nature, they may not always cover recent developments or be as specific as you may like. In these cases, and anytime you deem it necessary, you are encouraged to discover and use new reference material. This is particularly recommended for the second and third levels of certification. Additional references will tend to enhance your report. Any additional references, as well as those coming from the assigned and recommended texts should be footnoted.

An Evaluation Report Cover Sheet must accompany each Evaluation Report.

The Evaluation Report should include as many of the following elements as possible:
◾An evaluation of the book or task performed
◾Knowledge gained from the reading or activity
◾A discussion of at least one significant Masonic issue as it relates to the concepts and principles presented in the text or to the activity performed
◾An analysis of concepts and principles from the text or activity as they relate to present-day Freemasonry. (The purpose is to relate the author’s concepts to practical problems.)

There is no ideal or required length for the Evaluation Report. The report should be concise yet long enough to evaluate the text or activity fairly and completely. A recommended length is two to 10 pages.

If you use a computer or word processor to compile the Evaluation Report, the font size should be no smaller than 12 and no larger than 14 in the body of the text. All Evaluation Reports should be typed and double-spaced unless you do not have access to a typewriter or computer. If the Evaluation Report is handwritten, it must be legible. The Committee recommends the use of proper grammar.

(required for Master Masonic Scholar certification)

This is a requirement for certification as a Master Masonic Scholar. The final paper is the last step in completing the requirements for Master Masonic Scholar certification. It must demonstrate that you have achieved specialized knowledge in a selected area of Freemasonry. Further, it must be original and generated specifically for the Academy of Masonic Knowledge. Written work completed before the participant’s registration date will not be accepted. Optimally, the paper will have applications beyond your research, and you are encouraged to craft your work with this in mind. Inclusion of your opinions developed while performing the research for your paper is recommended and encouraged.

The final paper should demonstrate:

  • The ability to express ideas – both yours and those of others – clearly, correctly, and efficiently, and to convey these concepts to other Freemasons
  • The ability to discover and utilize information from various sources such as libraries, known authorities, newspapers, magazines, and periodicals
  • Skill and ingenuity in locating collateral sources yielding additional pertinent information
  • Skill in selecting, from all materials available, those facts and ideas that are pertinent to the subject matter of the paper
  • The ability to organize and document information properly, and to present it clearly, correctly, effectively, and logically, with respect to grammar, punctuation and spelling

The final paper is an accumulation of what you have learned in your Masonic study, experience, and research.

Basic steps:

  • Select the topic including pertinent issues to be explored
  • Survey the literature relating to your topic
  • Define your topic of investigation in clear and specific terms
  • Formulate verifiable assumptions which govern the interpretation of results
  • Execute the research
  • Evaluate the results and draw conclusions

Recommended Reading

This list for recommended reading is composed of books the Committee feels have the potential to provide Masonic Knowledge to the readers, but even more significant will stimulate the reader to think.

Please note that the appearance of these books on the recommended list is not to be taken as an endorsement by the Committee of either the authors or the contents. Indeed there are books, or parts thereof, on this list with which probably all members of the Committee would find fault.

It is the firm belief of the members of the Committee that all books read should stimulate the reader to think and, thus, books that appear here and with which you may disagree, are recommended for that purpose.

Many thousands of books concerning Freemasonry have been written during the past 300 years, with additional titles published every month. This list merely scratches the surface and is not intended to confine the reader to these titles alone. Where the participant has found a work that he feels worthy, the Committee would appreciate his comments regarding possible future inclusion.

(Books that could possibly be accepted as well-documented history or philosophy by scholars. Some in this list should instead be in other sections when reviewed but are temporary listed in this section.)

Abah, Chief Ranami, Light After Darkness.
Presented from an African perspective by a member of a Lodge warranted by Grand Lodge of Scotland. Study of the Fraternity.

Adams, George R., A Trilogy – Inner Journey to the East: Meditations of a Master Mason Along the Way: and Masonry for the Millennium

Barratt, Morris S. & Julius F. Sachse, Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907, Philadelphia, 1908, 1909, 1919 (3 Vols.)

Beless, James W., Freemen & Freemasonry: a Masonic Reader.
Principles of political and religious freedom as embodied by Freemasons.

Booudreau, Allan & Alex. Bleimann, George Washington in New York.

Borneman, Henry S., Early Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1931.

Bowen, Catherine Drinker, Miracle at Philadelphia, 1966.
Not a Masonic book but the story of the Constitutional Convention.

Brown, Walter Lee, Albert Pike – A Life Of

Bullock, Steven C., Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840, 1996.
Excellent book that looks at the beginning of Freemasonry in America and then each period as the Fraternity and the country matured. Contains detailed references.

Carr, Harry, The Freemason at Work, 1995 (Seventh and Revised Ed.)
Masonic symbolism, ritual, and history carefully explained.

Carr, Harry, The Early French Exposures, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1971, 488 pages.
An excellent reference for students wishing to read about the history of the early non-English rituals.

Carr, Harry, The Collected Prestonian Lectures 1925-1960, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1967.
The lectures are likely the most outstanding papers presented on the history of the fraternity. 491 pages. Contemporary Masonic research in England.

Coil, Henry Wilson, A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, 1973.
A presentation of Freemasonry in general.

Coil, Henry Wilson, Freemasonry Through Six Centuries, (Two Vols.) 1966.
Excellent study that traces the Craft through many lands and over 600 years. 2 vol.

Cook, Lewis C. (Ed.), Colonial Freemasonry.

Cryer, Neville Baker, I Just Didn’t Know That.

DiBernardo, Buillano, Freemasonry It’s Image of Man.

Dumenil, Lynn, Freemasonry and American Culture.

Dyer, Colin, William Preston and His Work, 1987.

Gilbert, R. A., Casting the First Stone.

Grand Lodge of the Philippines, Votaries of Honor. Grimble, Ian, Robert Burns.

Haffner, Christopher, Workman Unashamed, 1989.

Haggard, Forrest D., The Clergy and the Craft, 1970.
Views of a Masonic leader who is a P. M. and minister.

Hamill, John and R. A. Gilbert (Ed.), Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft, 1992.

Hamill, John & R. A. Gilbert, World Freemasonry: An Illustrated History, 1996

Hamill, John, The History of Freemasonry.

Hamilton, John D., Material Culture of the American Freemasons.

Hancox, Joy, The Byrom Collection: Renaissance Thought, The Royal Society and The Building of the Globe Theatre, Jonathan Cape, London, 1992.
Great detail of the pre-Masonic ritual and life and can contribute to those who feel that the Royal Society was the foundation from whence we came. It contains much that would also contribute to why geometry may have its position in our ritual.

Hancox, Joy, The Queen’s Chameleon.
Discusses Lord Byron and his actions at the time of the beginning of Freemasonry and his relations with the early Fraternity.

Heaton, Ronald E., Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers, 1965.
Biographies of Masons involved with the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution and the Constitution.

Hernandez, Mabini G., Reflections on Masonic Values.
Originally from “Dear Dad” letters. Good advice.

Horne, Alex, King Solomon’s Temple in the Masonic Tradition.

Home, Alex, Sources of Masonic Symbolism, Macoy, 1981.
Readable historical basis for much of Freemasonry.

Hunter, C. Gruce, Beneath the Stone.

Huss, Wayne A., The Master Builders: A History of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, (Three Vols.), 1986-1988-1989.

Jackson, A. C. F., English Masonic Exposures 1760-1769, Lewis Masonic, 1986.
Includes full transcripts of Three Distinct Knocks, 1760; Jachin and Boaz, 1762; and Shibboleth, 1765 and commentaries. Has been referred to many times as possible references to early ritual work as there are no official rituals from those days.

Jacobs, Margaret Jacobs, Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe, Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.
An excellent reference on some of Europe’s early Freemasonry. A solid history with many notes and references. Very valuable.

Johnson, Melvin M., The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Kingsport, Tenn. 1924.

Jones, Bernard E., Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium, 1950, 1956.
A clear view of Speculative Masonry and its amazing growth.

Jones, Frank B., Benjamin Franklin: 1706-1790.

Jordan, H. Glenn, Let There Be Light (A History of Freemasonry in Louisiana 1763-1989).

Kennon, Donald R., A Republic for the Ages.

Knoop, Douglas, G. P. Jones, & Douglas Hamer, The Early Masonic Catechisms, 1953, 1963.

Lessing, Gotthold, Lessing’s Masonic Dialogues, Masonic Book Club, 1991.
Serves as an excellent reference for his thinking in Germany at the time he joined the Fraternity.

MacBride, A. S., Speculative Masonry: Its Mission, Its Evolution and Its Landmarks, Macoy, 1924, 1971.

MacNulty, W. Kirk, Freemasonry – A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol, Thames and Hudson, London, 1991.
Beautifully illustrated introduction to Freemasonry.

McLeod, Wallace, The Quest for Light, 1997.

McLeod, Wallace, The Grand Design, Anchor Communications, Highland Springs, VA, 1991.
Addresses articles on many aspects of Freemasonry including old charges and why they are different.

McLeod, Wallace, A Candid Disquisition, Masonic Book Club, Bloomington, Ill., 1989.

Morris S. Brent, Cornerstones of Freedom – A Masonic Tradition.
Discusses the cornerstone laying ceremony and its history.

Morris, S. Brent, A Radical in the East, Iowa Research Lodge, 1993.
Discusses myths and beliefs in our ritual system.

Munn, Sheldon A., Freemasons at Gettysburg.
Story of the Friend to Friend monument at Gettysburg.

Nettl, Paul, Mozart and Masonry, Dorset Press, New York, 1957.
The life and Masonic record of this great composer. (Library).

Newton, Joseph Fort, The Builders, McCoy Publishing Co., Richmond, 1914.
History, interpretation, and prophecy. Includes questions for study. Great book for the new Mason. Classic.

Partner, Peter, The Murdered Magicians: The Templars and their Myth, Oxford Univ. Press, 1987.
An excellent book that not only discusses the original Knight Templars but also covers the period after their end with detailed discussion of how they were perceived by the public in each period.

Pick, Fred L. & G. Norman Knight, The Pocket History of Freemasonry, 1953.

Pike, Albert., Morals and Dogma, Supreme Council of the S.J., Charleston, 1871 and numerous succeeding editions.
A very hard read. It is the major compilation of Pike’s writings on his view of the questionable history of mystic studies. Basis of some of the Scottish Rite rituals.

Pound, Roscoe, Masonic Addresses and Writings of Roscoe Pound, NY, 1955.

Rajendran, V., Fiat Lux – Selected Masonic Essays.

Roberts, Allen E., House Undivided, 1961.
Story of Freemasonry and the Civil War.

Roberts, Allen E., Freemasonry in American History, 1985.
The story of the Fraternity in the founding of the United States.

Roberts, Allen E., Key to Freemasonry’s Growth, 1969.

Roberts, Allen E., The Mystic Tie, 1991.
Covers many topics in Robert’s style from history to current events.

Roberts, Allen E., Masonic Trivia & Facts, 1994.
Information packed into more than 600 questions and answers.

Roberts, Allen E., The Craft and Its Symbols, 1974.
Classic introduction to Freemasonry.

Roberts, Allen E., George Washington: Master Mason.
Story of Washington and the Fraternity using many of his own words.

Roberts, Allen E., Brother Truman.
A sympathetic biography of Bro. and President Truman.

Roberts, Allen E. and Wallace McLeod, Freemasonry and Democracy – Its Evolution in North America.
Discusses role of the Fraternity in the development of the U.S. and Canada.

Robinson, John J., A Pilgrim’s Path, 1993.
Discusses history, anti-Masonry, and the author’s feelings as he decides to petition the Fraternity. Recommended for beginners.

Robinson, John J., Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades, M. Evans and Co., 1991.
The story of the warrior monks who occupied the Temple Mount after the First Crusade.

Roy, Thomas S., Stalwart Builders – The Grand Lodge of Masons in Mass.: 1730-1970, Boston, 1971.

Sachse, Julius F., Old Masonic Lodges of PA, Moderns and Ancients, 1730-1800, Philadelphia, 1912, 1913, (2 Vols.).

Smith, Douglas, Working the Rough Stone: Freemasonry and Society in 18th Century Russia, Northern Ill. Univ. Press, DeKalb, 1999.

Smith, Dwight L., Whither Are We Traveling?, 1962.

Steblecki, Edith J., Paul Revere and Freemasonry, Paul Revere Memorial Assoc., 1985.
Description of Freemasonry and life in that period.

Stevenson, David, The First Freemasons: Scotland’s Early Lodges and Their Members, Aberdeen Univ. Press., 1988.
Detailed study of the first lodges in Scotland from study of the early records of the lodges. Most of these lodges existed from records before 1598 when St. Clair organized a few of Scotland’s earliest lodges and may have built the organization that exists today.

Stevenson, David, The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century, 1590-1710, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988.
Detailed study by a historian of the background of the philosophy of the Fraternity and the early operative and non-operative fraternity in Scotland before the founding of the Grand Lodge in England. For those who claim that the fraternity came from the operative masons, this is a must read.

Tresner, Jim and John Mandleberg, Albert Pike: The Man Beyond the Monument, Scottish Rite Research Society, 1995.
Story of the man, Freemason, and general who was a Masonic leader.

Vaughn, William P., The Anti-Masonic Party in the United States, 1826-1843.

United Grand Lodge of England, Grand Lodge 1717-1967, Oxford Univ. Press, 1967.

Weir, John, Robert Burns – The Freemason, Lewis Masonic, 1986.
Study of Burn’s Masonic career and the Scottish Fraternity in that period.

Welchans, George R., History of Lodge No. 43, F&AM, Lancaster, PA, (Various Editions).
Contains history of the revolt of the country lodges, as well as Buchanan Masonic material.

Weisberger, R. William, Speculative Freemasonry & The Enlightenment.

Wells, Roy A., The Rise and Development of Organized Freemasonry, 1986.

Wells, Roy A., Understanding Freemasonry.
Some of his classic writing.

Wilmshurst, W. L., The Meaning of Masonry, Gramercy Books, New York, 1980.
Exposition of character, meaning, and religious aspect of the Fraternity.

(Concepts not always rated as historically valid or standard Masonic theories.)

Baigerit, Michael & Richard Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge, 1989.

Bromwell, H. P. H., Restorations of Masonic Geometry, Kessinger.
Book goes into great detail on the supposed geometry of the lodge rooms. For students who are interested in the reasons for some traditions. 559 pages.

Dempsey, Al, What Law There Was, Tor Paperback, 1991.
A wonderful story that reads like a novel but has base in fact of the “wild west” and start of the Fraternity in Montana. It is recommended for those wanting light reading of a western book.

Knight, Christopher and Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key, Element Books, Rockport, Maine., 1996.
A book that claims that the Hiram story came from Egypt at the time of Joseph and carried down through the ages. It is interesting but likely only a good story. However those interested in – from whence came the Fraternity – will enjoy its theories.

Knight, Christopher and Robert Lomas, The Second Messiah.
It is filled with stories of the Knights Templar and pre-Masonic topics and ideas. Enjoyable reading for those who like to think about the Middle Ages and the fanciful histories of the fraternity.

Knight, Christopher and Robert Lomas, Uriel’s Machine.
A third book by the authors of Hiram’s Key. This book looks at the pre-history of Europe and the Bible and comes with a theory of both unproved pre-history and pre-Masonic history. It is pure theory and will be enjoyable for those who like to think of pre-history and the possibilities of the Fraternity’s history.

Noone, Richard W., 5/5/2000: Ice: The Ultimate Disaster, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1982. Paper.
Interesting book for those who like to read ideas of pre-history foundations of the possible Masonic philosophy. Reads well and has many Masonic ideas in it if one ignores the theory that the end of the earth, as we know it, should have been May 2000. Book does have many ideas and reads well.

Robinson, John J., Born in Blood, 1989.
The author builds a hypothesis for Freemasonry to be the continuation of the Knights Templar.

Yates, Frances A., The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, Barnes and Noble, 1972.
Study of the “Enlightenment” with an idea that Dr. John Dee was the founder of Rosicrucianism and that it returned to England as Freemasonry. An exact history of where the early Fraternity in London originated is not known, but Ms. Yates makes a good theory of a history of the Fraternity. It also tells her theory of our ritual and philosophy.

(Books that are focused on the current ritual and workings of lodges as well as the administration of lodges and other Masonic bodies.)

Claudy, Carl H., The Master’s Book, 1935.
For the Warden preparing for his term as Worshipful Master.

Roberts, Allen E., Masonic Lifeline – Leadership.
A manual for “growing” leaders of Freemasons.

Beaumont, John E., Freemasonry at the Top.
Easy to read and helpful to those who would be our leaders.

(Books are included here that are interesting or historical fiction which are of interest to Freemasons because of the content. They usually present enjoyable material so their reading will be both beneficial and educational.)

Eco, Unberto, Foucault’s Pendulum, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1989.
A novel that gives a study of the pre-Masonic mystic life in Europe. Includes much of Masonic symbolism.

Fink, Steven, The Hailing Sign, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1987. 403 pages.
A novel that members of the Fraternity may find enjoyable.

Follett, Ken, The Pillars of the Earth, Signet, 1990.
A paperback novel that looks at the operative Craft in Europe with the story of a master craftsman.

George, P. W., The Lodge in Friendship Village and Other Stories, Masonic Book Club, 1987.
A series of enjoyable and interesting stories that will make one think of the way lodges operated in a more relaxed day in small communities.

Kipling, Rudyard, The Man Who Would Be King, Dover, New York, 1994.
Paperback in Dover’s “Thrift Series.” There is also a movie of this book. Can be enjoyed for the story and symbolism.

Kurtz, Katherine, Two Crowns for America.
Historical novel about Freemasonry and the Revolutionary War. Offer of kingship of America to Bonnie Prince Charles.

Mellr, Alex, Strange Masonic Stories, Macoy, 1982.
Historical fiction.

Leazer, Gary, Fundamentalism and Freemasonry, M. Evans and Co., New York, 1995.

Morris, S. Brent and Art deHoyos, Is it True What They Say About Freemasonry.
A discussion of the things said negatively against the fraternity and a point-by-point discussion.

Thron, Richard, The Boy Who Cried Wolf – Understanding The Man Who Lies About Masons, M. Evans and Co., New York, 1994.
Treats religion and Freemasonry from view of a P. M., missionary, and fundamentalist Christian.

(These references will be very beneficial to those doing research but cannot fit the category of books that are read to meet the requirements of the Certificates.)

The Bible

Coil, Henry Wilson, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, 1961.

Denslow, William R., 10,000 Famous Freemasons, 1957.

Henderson, Kent, Masonic World Guide, 1984
Not a book to read but one that gives detail and addresses of Grand and local lodges worldwide, plus what to expect if visiting internationally. A directory of rules for visitations to lodges worldwide and tips for the traveling Mason.

Little Masonic Library, Vols. I – V, Macoy Publishing Co.
Five volumes of essays on many aspects of Freemasonry. Articles by Claudy, Pike, Pound, etc.

Morris, S. Brent, Masonic Philanthropies – A Tradition of Caring, 2nd. Edition.

Roberts, Allen E., Who Is Who in Freemasonry.

Van Gorden, John H., Medieval Historical Characters in Freemasonry, Masonic Book Club, 1987.
Biographies of 47 historical individuals.

Van Gorden, John H., Ancient and Early Medieval Historical Characters in Freemasonry, Supreme Council A.A.S.R., N. M. J., 1986.

Waite, Arthur Edward., A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vols. I and II, Weathervane Books, New York, 1970.

Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania Gift Shop
One North Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
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Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc.

Southern California Research Lodge

Masonic Service Association

Lewis Masonic Books

Kessinger Publishing Co.

(Kessinger publishes rare and out-of-print books in Alchemy, Esoteric, Freemasonry, Hermetic, Gnosticism, Metaphysical, Rosicrucian, Spiritual, and Theosophy. They have a lot of good items about Freemasonry but usually do not give the original dates, etc.)

Barnes and Noble