Masonic Library & Museum Association

Minutes from MLMA Meeting XXXX

October 23 (Wed) - 25 (Fri), 2003, Portland, Maine
Sheraton South Portland Hote

October 23, 2003  -- Program:   

President James Dufresne thanked us all for coming, and called us to order at 8:55. He called upon Chaplain Willard Wetzel for the opening prayer.

Attending: Alcorn, Cynthia and Frank - Barnett, Marie  - Bish, Richard and Carol - Brodsky, Michael - Davis, Helaine  - Dufresne, James - Gilbert, Robert - McCarty, Kenneth - Ralph, Ed and Phyllis - Strand, Gaylord - Smith, Dustin - Swanson, Catherine - Tabbert, Mark - Triessl, Julie - Waldman, Glenys - Wallsteadt, John A. - Watkins, Larissa - Wetzel, Willard - Wilson, Nancy.

Tour of the Grand Lodge of Maine A.F. & A.M. Masonic Temple. 

Nancy Wilson of the Van Gordon-Williams Library, National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts, presented “Web-based Union Masonic Research Catalog.”  She extolled the virtues of MARC records’ numbered fields: it doesn’t matter if one cannot read the language of the record: one can understand what part of the record is which, so can one can search the field anyway (e.g. the 100-field is always the author). Most softwares have a “conversion utility” so that many kinds of records submitted can be added to the union catalogue. She hopes for a world-wide union catalogue. 

Robert Gilbert, antiquarian bookseller from Bristol England, gave a talk entitled “The Work and the Worth of Libraries”, or as he amended it, ”Librarians.”  He finds us very useful and gave financial advice: 1. Advertise! On city and academic websites  -  get links.  2. Insure for replacement values, not just purchase costs. 3. Reproduce museum items; make an image library and charge for use of the images.  

Lunch: 11:30 –12:30 

After lunch, we toured the neighboring Maine Historical Society, which faces our common problems of space and finances. It adjoins and maintains  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s home. Most were unaware that HWL was a native of Portland. Only after graduating from Bowdoin College at  age 18, did HWL go to Boston/Cambridge.


October 24, 2003 – Business Meeting 

President James Dufresne called us to order at 9:23. He called upon Chaplain Willard Wetzel for the opening prayer. 

Regards from Harold Davidson, Diane Clements, Harry Strouse were relayed,  and concern was expressed for those not there with us. 

Minutes 2002: In an informal remark, Pres. Dufresne asked that the President not be put on any sort of “throne,” even as a joke. It is much more comfortable just to sit at the conference table.  Motion to accept 2002 Minutes: Helene Davis moved; Cynthia Alcorn seconded. 

Treasurer’s Report. - Glenys Waldman, Sec’y, for Michael Wells, Treasurer: 


MLMA Income and Expense Summary



Membership Report - G. Waldman, Sec’y for M. Wells, Treasurer

Richard Bish moved to accept; Alcorn seconded.

Amendment: notification of deletion from rolls to be made by Treasurer.  K. McCarty moved; Tabbert seconded. Carried. Michel Brodsky added a suggestion: Prior to reinstatement, a former member must pay dues in arrears. The original motion that Members in arrears should be removed from the rolls, with this amendment, was “re-moved.” Carried.  

Secretary Waldman mentioned the MLMA Brochures with a reminder to take those on the table. There are still some at the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Please ask her for copies. They may need rewording, which was the reason only 2000 were printed.  N.B.: As of October 28, 2003,  they need no changes: the officers, addresses, and dues structure remain the same. 

Mark Tabbert gave the Museum Committee report: He attended the Association of Masonic Museums in Europe meeting in Oslo, in June 2003. Mark participated in discussions of museum nomenclature, and mentioned that the Museum  in The Hague apparently benefited greatly. (To be further discussed in New Business). The next AMME meeting will be in Stockholm, Sweden beginning July 8, 2004. 

Newsletter: Editor Al & Cathy Bryant left Grand Rapids after the MLMA meeting last year.  John Wallstaedt, the new Director of  the Michigan Masonic Library and Museum, summarized the situation. A discussion of the possibility of having the Newsletter published on-line led to the question of the MLMA website maintenance. Secretary Waldman to ask President Emeritus Paul Bessel if he wants to continue the maintenance,* and will contact Cynthia Alcorn, who volunteered to be Editor (again!). She and Kelley Connolly were appointed by Pres. Dufresne to be Editors of the Newsletter. 

President Dufresne announced that the group photo would be taken after the banquet at Deering Lodge in front of their painting of Portland Headight (the lighthouse commissioned by Brother and General George Washington). 

Classification Committee report: Dick Bish (for Judge Harry Strouse) distributed copies of the proposed system, saying, “I know what I want. If I can’t find it, I’ll invent it.” Since we did not have a single system, but had presented those we use, Bish based his on the 1915 edition of Boyden, saying he “made a Model T into an SUV.”  He moved that:  “The MLMA will recognize & provide a copy of the proposed classification system to those Masonic Libraries that seek guidance and assistance.” John Wallstaedt seconded.  Discussion followed. H. Davis: commended Bish. A lively, long discussion ended in applause for Dick.  Motion: Dustin Smith; Wallstaedt seconded: an amendment as follows: Everyone should look over the scheme within 30 days – by November 24 - and e-mail suggestions and corrections to Dick Bish,** who will have discretion to accept or reject them. Carried.  Then vote on the original motion, as amended, was cast and carried. Dick Bish  will send the amended classification system, with a preamble,  to Secretary Waldman. 

Michel Brodsky  made a brief presentation on how a European becomes a Mason. One must research and write papers between degrees: First is a philosophical paper, after which the candidate becomes a Fellow Craft.  He then writes a symbolic paper, after which he becomes a Master Mason.  Michel followed with these remarks:  1.The Grand Orient in Paris has the only good Masonic library in France. Otherwise one must use public libraries. Probably  the most complete library is that of the GL of England.  2. Race is unquestioned. 3. the “regular” lodges demand belief in a Supreme Being. The “irregular” lodges think they are more honest when belief is not required. 4. Websites must be compatible, so that all can read each other’s documents. 

President  Dufresne introduced “officially” the first-time attendees: Michel Brodsky (P.M. Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Belgium), Robert Gilbert (Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Bristol, England), Dustin Smith (George Washington Masonic National Memorial), Catherine Swanson (National Heritage Museum, Lexington, Mass.)

M. Brodsky reminded us that, except in England, there had been censorship, so that especially most 18th century Masonic books have false or fictitious places of publication; e.g. “Philadelphie” or “Paris” were most likely not published there.  

Lunch: 11:30-12:30 

Old  Business: 

President Dufresne made remarks on Kent Walgren and his two-volume Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry and Illuminism in the United States 1734-1850: a Bibliography.  As with Larissa Watkins’ work (noted below), it is available through Oak Knoll Books. 

President Dufresne  presented his list of recommended books, and asked for suggestions.  An MLMA list of endorsed books for a basic Masonic library was considered a good idea, but there was no further discussion. 

Re: “Recognition” and “regular.”  This rapidly became a discussion of By-Laws wording.  Many questions were raised: e.g. maybe change how people join  -  review committee? Anyone who pays his money can join? One-year candidate membership? It was consensus that it is NOT really a Prince Hall issue. PH may, of course, become members of MLMA. The basic issue is that of MLMA’s mission, thus its By-Laws. Committee on By-Laws appointed: Chairman: Mark Tabbert; Ken McCarty, Gaylord Strand, Dick Browning,  President James Dufresne ex-officio. 

D. Bish talked about methods of making ourselves known -  Public Relations:

K. McCarty moved that the President, who wishes to, attend the Grand Masters’ conference in Washington, DC paid for by MLMA, with a cap of $1000.00. Seconded by Tabbert.

Mailings to Grand Lodges’ contact people were mentioned but not further discussed. 

Mark Tabbert gave a “multi-media” presentation on  preservation. He also reported on his visit to the Smithsonian Institution – see September 2003 Focus from Masonic Service Assn. 

Larissa Watkins presented her bibliography, American Masonic Periodicals 1811-2001: a Bibliography of the Library of the Supreme Council, 33º, S.J. Well earned kudos resounded. 

Hotel Situation:  Paid.  President J. Dufresne gave two weeks  and one day notice. The issue of cost vis-à-vis Sheraton’s cancellation policy is not yet resolved. 

Motion to have the President  appoint someone to examine Treasurer’s books by McCarty; seconded by Brodsky. Carried. 

Election of Officers - Slate:  James E. Dufresne, President;  Dick E. Browning, Vice President ; Michael G. Wells, Treasurer;  Glenys A. Waldman, Secretary.  Motion by M. Brodsky to elect slate; second E. Ralph. Carried. 

Secretary Waldman: Address changes to be sent to Webmaster Paul M. Bessel and Treasurer Michael G. Wells.

She asked on behalf of Treasurer Wells  about the “rotating stained-glass thingy:”  Consensus: let Mike Wells dispose of it. 

Michel Brodsky proposed, concerning payment of Membership dues, that Europeans could send him euros; UK members could send pounds to Robert Gilbert. Each will send a list of names with payment for all in US dollars, as each has a bank account in the US.   Secretary Waldman to communicate the relevant address to UK and European Members only as a suggestion to them for making it easier to pay dues.  

Secretary Waldman asked on behalf of member Kenneth Faub (Pittsburgh, Pa.), whether MLMA would like to have a lapel pin.  Consensus: No. 

Question: Should MLMA meet every year?  Consensus: Yes!

2004 Detroit

2005 DC House of the Temple AASR, SJ

2006 National Heritage Museum and GL Massachusetts

Mark Tabbert continued his discussion of the Association of Masonic Museums in Europe (AMMLA/AMME): He brought greetings, and reported that Andrew Prescott of the University of Sheffield had spoken on the history of British lodges and their meeting places.

Mark also had made small presentation on his exhibit at the National Heritage Museum.  Our European colleagues are very excited and want to associate with us and the European Union Commission on Libraries.  They want us to help with standards for cataloguing of all media. They also want to work on the world union catalogue. 

Close: 3:50 (15:50)

Respectfully submitted, 

Glenys A. Waldman, Secretary  

Glenys A. Waldman, Librarian
The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania
One North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2520
Telephone: 215.988.1908
Fax: 215.988.1972 


 *Glenys Waldman and Paul Bessel spoke on the telephone Monday, October 27:  Paul  is happy to continue maintaining the website.  Glenys and Cynthia Alcorn spoke Wednesday, October 29.  Cynthia will contact Paul Bessel. 

**Contact  for Dick Bish: