VOL. 4 • NUMBER 1 • Spring 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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We gladly welcome Spring!  2015 is a big year for the Supreme Council, 33° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Southern Jurisdiction U.S.A. It is the 100th Anniversary of the official opening of the House of the Temple and there is a lot going. See the section below for more information or visit our website at www.scottishrite.org. We will keep you informed about all of the events that will be taking place throughout the year. There will be a lot of fun and exciting things that everyone should participate in, ghost tours and a House of the Temple Garden Party, to name a few.


Rare Book Vault

Free-Mason MagazineOldest American Masonic Periodicals in the Supreme Council Library, The Free-Masons Magazine and General Miscellany. Vol. 1, 1811. This periodical was published in Philadelphia by Levis & Weaver.

Vol 1. April 1811. No. 1 Excerpt:

“FREEMASONRY comprehends within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an indelible mark of preeminence on its genuine professors, which neither chance, power, nor can fortune bestow. When its rules are strictly observed, its foundation of tranquility, amidst the various disappointments of life; a friend that will not deceive, but will comfort and assist, in prosperity and adversity; a blessing that will remain with all times, circumstances, and places, and to which recourse may be had when other earthly comforts sink into disgrace.”


Newsletter Volume Holds Historic Archive of Chicago’s Oldest Masonic Body

By Paul Scheeler
La Fayette Chapter’s historian and archivist.

La Fayette BulletinA Google search led to a unique book on the shelves of the House of the Temple Library, containing nearly 800 pages of long-forgotten history about the oldest Masonic body in Chicago. The bound volume of the La Fayette Bulletin contains over 100 newsletters, published from 1917 to 1929, by La Fayette Chapter No. 2, Royal Arch Masons, and chartered 1844. The title was briefly mentioned once in the proceedings of the Reade Society for Genealogical Research, The Reade Record.

In a decade of researching our archives which includes many boxes of artifacts minutes, ledgers and scrapbooks, we had never run across even one copy of the La Fayette Bulletin. Despite the newsletter’s board circulation, given the fact that La Fayette Chapter had more than 2,000 members prior to the Great Depression, we came to learn that virtually nothing appeared online and none of our Companions had ever seen it.

In performing a routine Web search for references to the Chapter and after filtering out spurious results including “Marquis de La Fayette” and La Fayette, Indiana,” one result listed and excerpt from the La Fayette Bulletin in The Reade Record. This clue prompted realization that the newsletter had been a monthly periodical begun in 1914 spanning the zenith of one of the then-largest Royal Arch Chapters in the world. The only known bound (partial) set was in the Library’s collections.

A few more notable items in the La Fayette Bulletin include flyers for social events such as a 1920 Lake Michigan cruise aboard the Christopher Columbus, and rare photographs of officers’ installations plus opulent, long-demolished temples. A 1918 roster of Companions serving in World War I included a facsimile of an inspiring letter from King George V of England, on Windsor Castle stationery.

We wish to thank Assistant Librarian Larissa Watkins for permitting us to retrieve this valuable history and convert it to a viewable archival format, which took us the better part of a day to scan but will happily occupy us for years to come. This experience reminded us that not everything of value is conveniently accessible in its entirety via the Internet and, that investigating seemingly tenuous online references as this one, can often lead to the most significant discoveries.

In addition to a list of the Library’s periodicals published in Illinois, La Fayette Chapter also obtained promising research leads to other, relevant publications in the Masonic libraries of the Grand Lodges of Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. As a gesture of gratitude, La Fayette Chapter donated $250.00 to sponsor under the Library’s Adopt-A-Book program on behalf of the La Fayette Bulletin.


Book Donations—Keep up the Good Work!

International book donationsThank you so much to everyone who has donated books to the library this past quarter. A lot of new materials and gaps filled with missing volumes. The Library received six new books for our International collection and many missing volumes of Annals and Miscellanea of the Grand Council Allied Masonic Degrees.


Celebrating the Craft!

Celebrating the CraftThe House of the Temple will host the 4th-annual Celebrating the Craft (CTC) on Saturday, May 16, to raise money for the Rebuilding the Temple Campaign and Orient charities.

To watch the show, go to scottishrite.org anytime between 6 p.m. and Midnight (Eastern Time) on Saturday, May 16.

Music, comedy, celebrities, never-before-seen video content from the House of the Temple and Valleys across the country, and so much more will be included in the webcast.

Once again, the George Washington Banquet Hall at the House of the Temple will be converted into a television studio and serve as ground zero for this Masonic extravaganza. During the evening, viewers will learn more about the Scottish Rite and the importance of the House of the Temple, its artifacts, museum, and library. Last year the CTC featured musical artist, stage performers, Masonic scholars like Ill. Bros. Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, G.C., and Brent Morris, 33°, G.C., and many others who educated and entertained throughout the event. We will be building upon our previous successes to make CTC 2015 our most exciting event yet.

You can make a donation via phone or online. Your donation may be split between the Rebuilding the Temple Campaign and the Scottish Rite charities in the your Orient as directed by your SGIG or Deputy.

If you live in the DC area or will be in town during the event we invite you to come and be part of the in-studio audience or volunteer for the phone bank.

  • To watch the LIVE show, go to scottishrite.org anytime between 6:00 pm and Midnight on May 16.

  • To be a part of our studio audience or to volunteer for the phone bank, click here.


Centennial Jubilee Celebration

Centennial JubileeSAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, August 22, 2015.

This year marks 100 YEARS since the House of the Temple officially opened its doors along historic 16th Street in Northwest D.C., and we plan to celebrate this monumental event! The Centennial Jubilee will coincide with the 2015 Supreme Council Biennial Session and will feature parties, ghost tours, unique exhibits, and a historic reenactment! We hope you can join us!

Visit scottishrite.org for more information and to register for the 2015 Biennial Session of the Supreme Council, 33°, and Centennial Jubilee, a celebration of the 100th year our House of the Temple!

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

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