Amicus Librarium • Fall 2016 • Vol. 5, No. 3 | View this email in your browser.
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Photograph of a gloved hand having just wiped off an area on top of one of several dusty books

It's #GivingTuesday!

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving with participating nonprofits from all over the world. The goal for our inaugural #GivingTuesday participation is to raise $2,000 through the House of the Temple Historic Preservation Foundation, Inc., to purchase a HEPA vacuum. This device will play a crucial role in cleaning, maintaining, and preserving many of the historic books housed in our library, museum, and archives. 

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View of the Library's stacks

The House of the Temple as a Treasured Resource

Local Researchers Thankful for Library

By Joan Kleinknecht, Supreme Council Librarian

The Library of the Supreme Council is being used daily by patrons who live in the neighborhood (click here for current hours). They use the library not only to do Masonic research but also as a beautiful and quiet space to study. This year, the reading room was featured on the local Washington, DC informational web site, DCist, as one of “12 Places To Turn Into A Temporary Office (That Aren't Coffee Shops)." 

One person who enjoys working in the reading room is Ms. Katie Mastin. A freelance writer, she currently is working on a novel and says she is “tremendously grateful for the chance to write in the beautiful temple library. What an opportunity!” Another frequent visitor to the Temple library is Ms. Karen Solit, who has spent a number of years doing research on Robert Burns in its Burnsiana Collection assembled by William Robertson Smith. In 1880, the Library of the House of the Temple became the first library open to the public in the District of Columbia. It a tradition we proudly continue today.

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A photo collage of three antique Masonic ceramic bowls from the House of the Temple's collection

How Should I Care for My Antique (Masonic) Ceramics?

Note: While we understand you are "Friends of Library," we believe a few of you may be "Friends of Ceramics," too :-) , and we hope you find this is a helpful resource. 
By Kelly Manno & Abigail Turner, House of the Temple Museum Interns

If you have antique ceramics in your home, you may be wondering “How do I take care of them?” Luckily, ceramics are pretty low maintenance. The best medicine for them will be storing them in a stable place and keeping their surfaces clean.

Cleaning Your Ceramics
Physical Cleaning: Remove dirt, dust, and other detritus from your ceramics with brushes. Begin with softer bristled brushes and work up to stiffer bristles. Paint brushes found at arts and crafts stores work well for this. Pay careful attention when cleaning over decorative additions, like patterns painted over the glaze or additions that may be weak at the seam where it connects to the body.

Chemical Cleaning: Unless you are certain that your ceramic piece is non-porous, chemical cleaning is NOT recommended. High quality ceramics are most often non-porous stoneware or porcelain that is safe to chemically clean. They have thin, uniform walls and make a clear ring when tapped. However, some pieces of fine earthenware can resemble stoneware and are nearly indistinguishable without breaking the pieces and examining the paste. Chemicals, ranging from water to industrial cleaning supplies, can pass through weak spots in the glaze and be absorbed into the porous paste of the earthenware body, causing darkening and stains. Decorations painted over the glaze may react poorly to chemical cleaning even if the body does not.
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Ronald A. Seale, 33°
Sovereign Grand Commander

Joan Kleinknecht

S. Brent Morris, 33°, G.C.

Gregory S. Kearse, 33°
Staff Writer/Editor

Elizabeth A. W. McCarthy
Creative Director
View of Library cases from the second level of the stacks
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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 email, 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 button below or drop me an email, and I will add you to the distribution list.
— Joan Kleinknecht
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