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Education in Freemasonry is meant to be a lifelong process, furthering our understanding of the fraternity and its relevance to today's world.

The Institute for Masonic Studies was founded in 1997 to foster Masonic knowledge and understanding among the Masons of California and the larger world of Freemasonry. The Institute hosts a number of important programs and resources for members and lodges, including the following:

 

UCLA Freemasonry and Civil Society Program

The Freemasonry and Civil Society Program is a collaborative partnership between the University of California, Los Angeles History Department, the Grand Lodge of California, and the Institute for Masonic Studies. The Program, which offers courses investigating the history of Freemasonry within the context of civil society, sponsors a post-doctoral fellow each year.

The Freemasonry and Civil Society Program develops educational seminars to coincide with current research. Open to the public, these events seek to educate and inspire scholars of the craft.

Past topics include American and Latin American Freemasonry and Freemasonry: A Global Perspective, Past and Present and Freemasonry, Aestetics, and Civil Society.

Papers presented at past UCLA conferences.

 

San Francisco Masonic Colloquium

Enriching History: The California Gold Rush and the Freemasons

The Grand Lodge of California and the Policy Studies Organization bring you a series of Colloquium on Enriching History This year’s Colloquium topic is “The California Gold Rush and the Freemasons”. The Gold Rush was accompanied by the founding of a remarkable number of Masonic Lodges. Come learn about this interesting era in California history, hear the music of the time, and enjoy a free lunch during this fascinating day.

November 16, 2014 at the San Francisco Scottish Rite

Registration is free. RSVP to wshepard@ipsonet.org.

 

Annual California Masonic Symposium

The Grand Lodge of California and the California Masonic Foundation sponsor the Annual California Masonic Symposium. Each year this event, which is open to Masons and the public, addresses a topic of historical and philosophical relevance to Masonry.

The 15th Annual California Masonic Symposium will be held on Sept. 19, 2015 in San Francisco and Sept. 20, 2015 in Pasadena.

Questions? Contact Kim Hegg, program services manager.

Past Symposia topics have included: Struggles for Control of Freemasonry: Great Britain and America in the Early Grand Lodge Era; Freemasonry in Mexico and Latin America; Freemasonry and Secret Societies; Issues in Contemporary Freemasonry; The Age of Franklin: Freemasonry, the Declaration of Independence, and the American Enlightenment; Freemasonry and the American Frontier; The Morgan Affair: The Kidnapping that Changed American Freemasonry; Freemasonry and Women's Role; and Freemasonry and the Foundation of the American Republic.

Archive of papers, from past Symposia


Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry

The Grand Lodge of California opened the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry in 1997 at the California Masonic Memorial Temple in San Francisco.

The museum contains over 8,000 titles and includes Masonic art and artifacts from California and around the world.

The Library and Museum seeks to:

  • Tell the story of Freemasonry in California to Masons and to the general public
  • Serve as a research source for both lay and professional Masonic scholars and researchers
  • Assist Masons who seek to increase and develop their personal knowledge of Freemasonry

To volunteer as a library docent, contact Adam Kendall, collections manager, at 415/292-9137 or visit masonicheritage.org.


Research Lodges and Research Organizations

Research Lodges in California conduct research, hold discussions, gather and preserve Masonic information, maintain libraries, supply papers or speakers at the request of other Lodges, and conduct a program of general service in the field of Masonic education and information.

The Research Lodges in California include:
El Camino Research Lodge - San Jose
Northern California Research Lodge - San Francisco
Orange County Research Lodge - Anaheim
Southern California Research Lodge - Anaheim
Golden Compasses Research Lodge - Sacramento

Research organizations around the world include:
The Masonic Society
The Masonic Restoration Foundation
National Masonic Research Society
International Conference of the History of Freemasonry
Masonic Library and Museum Association
Association of Masonic Museums, Libraries, and Archives of Europe
Freemasonry and Civil Society program; REHMLAC, Revista de Estudios Historicos de La Masoneria
The Scottish Rite Research Society

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