S

haver’s Masonic Monitor, a letter com-
paring 19th- and 20th-century ritual, 
and a pamphlet from the Brotherhood 
Accident Company of Odd Fellows enti-

tled “When Papa Rode the Goat,” are just some 
of the recent acquisitions on view in the Van 
Gorden-Williams Library & Archives. Here is  
a sampling of what you can see when you visit.  
 Shaver’s Masonic Monitor, Containing All  
the Exoteric Ritual of the Work and Lectures  
of the Three Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry

published in 1906, is the ninth edition of this 
Monitor, a handbook of the ritual used in  
Kansas Masonic lodges in the early twentieth 
century. Monitors include extracts of parts of 
Masonic ritual that, when read, may give the 
reader a general sense of the ritual without  
including the text of the ritual itself. 
 An interesting comparison of Scottish Rite 
ritual from the 1940s with one from the 1860s 
is outlined in a 1948 letter written by Andrew F. 
Donnell. Donnell, active in the Cerneau Scottish 
Rite in the 1940s, was a feature writer and  
reporter for a Boston area newspaper, and a 
Master Mason in the Lodge of Eleusis in 1923. 
The letter is interesting not only for its content, 
but because it shows that the Cerneau Scottish 
Rite was active well into the twentieth century 
—much later than was previously known.
 The Library & Archives maintains a large 
collection of proceedings of various Masonic 
and fraternal organizations. These publications 
report the annual activities of these groups.  
The two volumes on view, one published in 
1916 and the other in 1996, document meetings 
of the Pythian Sisters’ national organization  
held 80 years apart in Portland, Oregon.  
 The Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives 
is one of the premiere repositories in the United 
States for the study of Freemasonry and frater-
nalism. The Library & Archives holds compre-
hensive collections on the subject of American 
Freemasonry, as well as other fraternal organiza-
tions. Material on various subjects in American 
history, including the American Revolution, dec-
orative arts, material culture, and other topics 

Recent Acquisitions at the  

Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives

Membership Certificate for order of Railway Conductors, Division no. 241, 1904. 

Desoto, Missouri. Museum Purchase, a2013/31/1.

Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library | Fall 2014  

  7

which serve to provide broader context for the Masonic and fraternal 
collections are also part of the collection. 
 The Library & Archives encourages both serious and casual  
researchers to consult its holdings to learn more about Freemasonry 
and American history. If you have a question about our collections  
or would like to discuss a donation of books or archival materials  
to the Library & Archives, please e-mail or call the library at  
library@srmml.org or 781-457-4109.

through JAnuAry 31, 2015