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:
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; Freemasonry - A Global Perspective, Past and Present; Freemasonry, Aestetics, and Civil Society; and Freemasonry and the Conspiracy Theories It Evokes.
The Enriching History Colloquium is presented through a partnership between the Grand Lodge of California, the Policy Studies Organization, and American Public University. Initiated in 2013, this annual program brings together a diverse group of Masonic scholars to present a new way of exploring the cultural and social experiences of Americans in the past. All Colloquiums are open to the general public.
The 2015 Enriching History Colloquium is themed "The Chinese Encounter America: Emigration, Fraternalism, and Freemasonry." Join us for this fascinating look at how Freemasonry intersects with one of America's largest immigrant groups.
This event - including catered breakfast and lunch - is free to all participants. Advance registration is required. To reserve your place, contact Whitney Shepherd. To learn more about this year's program, visit the event page.
Past colloquia topics include: "Thomas Starr King, Earl Warren, and Freemasonry in California" and "Revisiting the Gold Rush: Stories Untold."
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.
All Master Masons are invited to attend the 15th Annual California Masonic Symposium: Evolution of the Masonic Ritual, which will be held on Sept. 19, 2015 in San Francisco and Sept. 20, 2015 in Pasadena. During this fascinating full-day Masonic education opportunity, we will review the history of the ritual from the earliest evidence of the "Mason Word" through the development of rituals as we know them today. Each session will conclude with a live demonstration of how a man was made a Mason in the manner suggested through the "Edinburgh Register House Manuscript" of 1696 and other early sources. Register today.
PLEASE NOTE: Since the 2015 Symposium will discuss ritual at all degree levels, sessions will be tiled; only Master Masons holding a current 2015 dues receipt may attend. Contemporary references will be of published rituals, including "Duncan's Ritual of Freemasonry" and Lewis Masonic's "Emulation Ritual."
Questions? Contact Member Services.
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.
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:
The Library & Museum produces a series of webinars to spread awareness of current Masonic research being conducted by California Freemasons. Sample topics include modern Templarism, the Ku Klux Klan's relationship to American fraternalism, preservation of Masonic history and culture, and educational Masonic tools. For more information, contact Collections Manager Adam Kendall.
The Art of Masonic Education
From floor sketches to tracing boards, Masonic artists over the centuries have produced incredible works to serve as lodge teaching aids. In addition to being artifacts of our fraternity, many of these pieces are treasures of the art world. This video explores the history and significance of art in Masonic education from the 18th century to today, as told by historians, Masonic scholars, and the artists themselves.
The Holy Writings
Described as the "first great light," the holy writings provide a link to Freemasonry's historical beliefs. This video documentary short, produced by the Masonic Grand Lodge of California and the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry, offers new insight into one of Masonry's most treasured three great lights.
Emblems of Innocence and Honor: The Masonic Apron
Described as a Mason's "badge" and an emblem of innocence, the apron provides a link to Freemasonry's historical roots. This video documentary short, produced by the Masonic Grand Lodge of California and the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry, offers new insight into one of Masonry's most treasured ritual garments.
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|