VOL. 4 • NUMBER 2 • Summer 2015
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Photograph of Supreme Council Library stacks
Supreme Council, 33°
Library Stacks

Ronald A. Seale, 33°
Sovereign Grand Commander

Joan Kleinknecht

Brent Morris, 33°, G.C.

Jason Van Dyke, 32°, KCCH
Assistant Editor

Elizabeth A. W. McCarthy
Creative Director

Jeri E. Walker
Media Production Manager
Our Friends are a vital asset to the library. By encouraging interest in its collections and services, the members act as goodwill ambassadors for this unique institution. Amicus Librarium, a quarterly publication, is intended to provide you with essays, book reviews, and a wide range of information about the Library’s history, news, and events. Amicus Librarium welcomes your contributions.  Please send not only your suggestions on items you would like included, but also your essays, book reviews, and photographs you would like to share with us and other Friends.  I look forward to hearing from you. To become a Friend and receive Amicus Librarium, please click the "subscribe" link in the message or drop me an email, and I will add you to the distribution list.
~ Joan Kleinknecht

Questions for the Librarian

Have a Masonic question?
Ask the Librarian!

We welcome your questions about anything that you have ever wondered about Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite, symbolism, or our library. If your question is chosen, it will be answered in a future issue of the Amicus Librarium. Questions not chosen for the newsletter will be answered via email. Please contact the House of the Temple Librarian with your questions at: call (202) 777-3139 or email at: jkleinknecht@scottishrite.org.

“He who does right is better than he who thinks right.”

Albert Pike
Past Sovereign Grand Commander


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The year 2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of the grand opening of the House of the Temple, headquarters for the Supreme Council, 33° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., located at 1733 16th St. NW Washington, DC. I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the librarians and assistant librarians, highlighting some of the contributions they made in over a century of service to the Library of the Supreme Council.


William L. Boyden becomes Head Librarian

William L. BoydenBoyden, pictured right, started as Assistant Librarian in 1893 and was recommended by Albert Pike. Boyden was librarian for 46 years at the Supreme Council and made many contributions. He died in 1939,and was considered “the Dean of all Masonic Librarians.” 

Boyden’s Contributions:

  • Boyden’s Classification of the Literature of Freemasonry - this is still currently used by Masonic Libraries worldwide
  • Bibliography of the Writings of Albert Pike
  • Chronology of the Supreme Council
  • Freemasonry Among the American Indians
  • Masonic Presidents, Vice Presidents and Signers
  • Scottish Rite Masonry in Hawaii
  • 1925 did research for Charles Lobinger to help him write his History of the Supreme Council


Ray Baker Harris: Librarian
Ester Davis: Assistant Librarian

Harris became Librarian after the sudden death of William L. Boyden. Harris was Librarian of the Supreme Council until his death in 1963. “Harris was well known far and wide among the Fraternity as Masonic student, lecturer, author, and researcher of Masonic esoteric work.” The New Age, June 1963. (Pictured below: Ray Baker Harris and Ester Davis in the main reading room of the Library)

Harris’s Contributions:

  • The History of the Supreme Council, 33° in 3 volumes (Harris died before he was able to finish the history)
  • Eleven Gentlemen of Charleston, Founders of the Supreme Council
  • Background and Youth of the Seventh Ohio President Warren Gamaliel Harding
  • Bibliography of the Writings of Albert Pike - Centennial Edition 
Ray Bake Harris and Ester Davis in the Reading Room of the Library


Dr. James D. Carter: Librarian
Inge Baum: Assistant Librarian

Carter was responsible for the library and finishing The History of the Supreme Council, 33°, 3 volumes, 1801–1921.

In 1970, Dr. James D. Carter left the library, which became the full responsibility of Inge Baum. Baum was born in Germany and endured the hardships of World War II. She emigrated to the United States in 1951 and was sponsored by C. Fred Kleinknecht, Sr. Mrs. Baum served nearly 42 years at the Supreme Council.

Baum’s Contributions:

  • Took many courses to better her service to the library including, conservation, and curatorial courses at The George Washington University
  • Started the process of adding books to a database
  • Stitched the Masonic Flag that was carried to the moon on Apollo 11 by Buzz Aldrin (pictured below)

Supreme Council Flag carried to the moon by Buzz Aldrin

1993 to Present:

Present: Joan Kleinknecht - Librarian

1999 - Present:

Larissa Watkins - Assistant Librarian

Kleinknecht started in the library in 1993; at that time there was no controlled temperature, humidity, or lighting. The entire library needed to be cleaned, organized, moved, and cataloged. There was no online database that could be utilized by patrons.

Kleinknecht - Watkins Contributions:

  • Albert Pike Museum: completely recreated Albert Pike's Library established a new exhibit. (pictured below)
  • Americanism Exhibit - replaced the Cowles Collection
  • Philanthropies Exhibit established
  • Burl Ives Exhibit established
  • Library was cleaned and now follows the Classification scheme of William L. Boyden
  • Over 50% of the books are cataloged online
  • American Masonic Periodicals, 1811–2001
  • International Masonic Periodicals, 1738–2005
  • International Masonic Collection, 1723–2011
  • Our Very Illustrious Brother Abraham Lincoln
  • Albert Pike's String of Pearls
  • Burnsiana

Albert Pike Museum and CollectionThe librarians will strive to continue with the service and dedication to patrons over the years to follow.


Researcher's Corner

Each quarter I will have a researcher who has used the Library of the Supreme Council describe their experience in the Library and what they found in the Library that they possibly could not have found in anywhere else.

Dear Joan:

Please accept my sincere thanks and gratitude to you and Larissa Watkins for all you expert help during my recent visit to the House of the Temple Library. As you know, I have undertaken a new book on Pres. George Washington’s membership in, and relationship with, the Craft. Tentatively titled “A Deserving Brother’: George Washington and Freemasonry,” the book may take three more years to complete. The last book on Washington as a Freemason was nearly 40 years ago and the last scholarly book was W.M. Brown’s “G. Washington: Freemason” in 1952.

As the Director of Collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association, our library holds only the standard and popular publication on Washington. As the Memorial’s Library was not established until 1932, it is but a shallow puddle compared to the deep well of Masonic information that is the House of the Temple library.

Having searched the Library’s database and other resources, I sent a list of publication to Larissa, and when I arrived she had most of them ready for me. My first priority was pre-1810 Masonic eulogies and commemorative addresses printed soon after Washington death. I also wanted all pre-1860 publications that defended Washington’s membership from Anti-Masonic attacks. Short of visiting the Library of Congress or traveling to the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts, Iowa or Pennsylvania, only in the House of the Temple could I comfortably read these rare imprints. By reviewing these publications I may trace the origins of the many Washington Masonic stories, facts and legends.

But the old and rare Washington Masonic material just consumed my first two research days. I plan to return many days to work through the large number of vertical files of Washington Masonic articles, clippings, images and ephemera. Thanks to you and your predecessors, extending back to Albert Pike, such a collection is a godsend to every Masonic scholar--- amateur, professional, mason or non-mason alike. In my first glimpse through the files I discovered a 1941 typed radio speech on Washington the Freemason given by then Senator Harry S. Truman.

The foundation of my book will be its extensive bibliography so the reader may have positive assurance I read most, if not all, Masonic articles on Washington possible. No such bibliography has yet to be attempted, and while I doubt I can find every single article ever printed in every American Masonic publication in the last 200 years, I am confident that all the major periodicals and significant articles are contained within the House of the Temple’s Library. Again, such a project could not be attempted but for the House of the Temple’s vast Masonic periodical holdings and Larissa Watkin’s great Bibliography printed in 2003.

Thank you again for all your past present and future help and expertise.

Mark A. Tabbert, 33°
Director of Collections
George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association


New Publications

 A Guidebook to the House of the Temple

A Guidebook to the House of the Temple: The History, Archetecture & Symbolism

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the opening & dedication of the Temple, we are pleased to announce that A Guidebook to the House of the Temple: The History, Architecture & Symbolism, by Jeri E. Walker, is now available! Beginning with a narrative that traverses the Temple’s timeline—from Grand Commander James D. Richardson’s dream to its modern reality—this beautifully illustrated guide visually leads the reader through this magnificent structure with over 180 color photographs—many of which never have been published in print. Also included within the book are explanations of the architecture and the Masonic symbolism infused throughout architect John Russell Pope’s design.

132 pp., 8.375 in. × 10 in.
To order, visit the Scottish Rite Store online at www.scottishritestore.org

Presenting the Scottish Rite: A Quick-Reference Guide

Presenting the Scottish RiteThe perfect guide for anyone interested in joining the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction! This handy book is filled with information about the Scottish Rite’s history, symbolism, and programs, and can serve as both an informational tool for potential members of the Scottish Rite as well as an orientation or refresher course for existing members of our organization.

Sold in bundles of 25 for $1.10 per booklet (plus shipping). 74 pp., 5.875 in. x 7.25 in.

For more information or if you are interested in ordering Presenting the Scottish Rite for your Valley, please contact Judy Fletcher at jfletcher@scottishrite.org or 1–202–777–3114.

Copyright © 2015 The Supreme Council 33°, All rights reserved.

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