october 13, 2012 – JAnuAry 6, 2013

Scottish rite Masonic Museum & library | Spring 2013 

 7

T

he Museum actively works to  
improve and refine its collection 
of over 17,000 objects through 
gifts and purchases. What do we 

seek to add? Items that tell an engaging  
story about American history, do not  
duplicate existing holdings, and are in  
good condition. 
 The collection’s primary strength is its 
American Masonic and fraternal items.   
As the largest group of objects of its kind  
in  the United States, the Museum’s hold- 
ings include over 400 fraternal aprons,  
over 2,500 fraternal badges and jewelry,  
and more than 1,000 items of Masonic and  
fraternal regalia. We also collect material 
related to American history. The Museum 
manages an additional 11,000 objects and 
documents from the collection of the Grand 
Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts under a 
long-term loan agreement. Finally, the Van 
Gorden-Williams Library & Archives com-
prise 60,000 books, 1,600 serial titles and 
2,000 cubic feet of archival materials related 
to American history and fraternalism. 
 Our showcase of recent acquisitions   
on view in the Museum lobby includes a 
Masonic Royal Arch apron. Aprons may   
be the best-known symbol of Freemasons. 
The protective leather aprons worn by 
working stonemasons inspired the symbolic 
aprons used by the fraternity. The decora-
tion on this apron was painted during the 
early 1800s.
 The Museum has hundreds of photographs 
from the mid-1800s through the present day. 
Currently, we are scanning our photo collec-
tion and making the images available on  
our website (see the article on this project 
on page 3). This photograph shows the 
Thayer Academy baseball team during the 
early 1900s. This photo was part of a large 
gift of Sprague family photos and papers 
and shows Harold W. Sprague as a member 
of the team.

If you would like to discuss donating  
artifacts to the Museum, please contact  
Aimee E. Newell, Ph.D., Director of  
Collections, at 
anewell@monh.org, or  
call 781-457-4144. 

Recent Acquisitions

masonic royal arch apron, 1800–1840. american. museum purchase through  

the generosity of mrs. stuart f. brown, H. eugene mason, 32° and sarah Kennerly  

in memory of fred C. rogers, 2011.003. Photo by David bohl. 

Thayer academy baseball Team, 1902–1905. braintree, massachusetts.  

Gift of brita flemming, 2011.039.8.