new exhibition, fresh programming, and a video 
project—there’s lots happening at the Museum. 
“Prized Relics:  Historic Souvenirs from the  
Collection” is a unique and interesting exhibi-

tion now on view. Relics are objects surviving from an  
earlier era that are associated with a significant event, place 
or person by their collectors. This exhibition displays dif-
ferent kinds of relics and souvenirs drawn from domestic 
life, travels, Masonic institutions, and notable events dating 
from the 1700s through the 1900s. Visitors will find un-
usual objects and intriguing stories to spark their curiosity 
and consider the ways that these preserved fragments  

help us understand the past.   
 We are also announcing the retirement of our long-time Archivist, Catherine  
Swanson, and a bittersweet announcement it is. Catherine has served the Museum 
and the Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives for nearly 20 years, and has been 
instrumental in cataloguing and caring for countless items in our archival collection. 
She has served the Masonic community and the general public with professionalism, 
good humor, and equanimity. See below to learn more about Catherine and all she 
has done for us.  
 The Museum, in cooperation with the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, has 
taken on a new video project exploring all facets of the Museum & Library. If you 
can’t get here in person, you will soon be able to explore our outstanding collections 
and our exhibitions and programs through videos streaming on our website, and  
on our new YouTube channel. We will walk you through the building, and help  
you explore the Museum’s American Masonic and fraternal collection, one of the  
finest in the world. We will keep you posted when the project is up and running. 
 We hope you will visit the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library this  
vacation season.

 Richard V. Travis, 33º–

Executive Director

From the Director

summer 2014 

richard V. Travis, 33°  

Executive Director


Linda Patch, Editor
David Gerratt,  

Designer, NonprofitDesign.com


Jeff Croteau 

Manager of Library and Archives
Polly Kienle 

Public Programs Coordinator
aimee e. newell, Ph.D. 

Director of Collections
Hilary anderson stelling 

Director of Exhibitions  
and Audience Development
Catherine swanson 


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on the cover


Specimen Box, early 1900s. New York, 

New York. Gift of Dorothy A. and Albert 

H. Richardson Jr., 85.53.26. Photograph 

by David Bohl.

Scottish Rite Masonic 

Museum & Library, Inc.

After nearly 20 years of service,  
Catherine Swanson, archivist at the 
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum &  
Library, is retiring at the end of August.  
  During her time here, Catherine 
has cataloged and provided access  
to countless archival collections and 
objects and answered hundreds—if  
not thousands—of reference questions. 
She contributed to many Museum & 

Library exhibitions including our annual presentation of charming, 
historic Valentines. She also worked to showcase various facets 
of the archival collection through exhibitions like “For Every Fighter 
A Woman Worker: World War I Posters,” and “A Penny for Your 
Thoughts: Postcards from the Golden Age, 1898–1918.” 
 In 2002, Catherine wrote Caring for Your Masonic Treasures: 
Preservation of Documents, Photographs, and Books
, a great 

catherine Swanson, Long-time Archivist, retiring 

resource for anyone charged with caring for paper-based  
Masonic materials. She was instrumental in inventorying the  
archival portion of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachu-
setts extended loan collection, and was one of the co-authors  
of Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge  
of Massachusetts Collection, 
the award-winning scholarly  
catalog published in 2013. 
 Catherine was also central in the planning and installation   
of compact shelving in the Library & Archives vault in 2009. 
“Catherine’s leadership on this important project insures the 
long-term growth and stability of our special collections,” said 
Jeffrey Croteau, Manager of the Library & Archives. “She  
leaves a lasting and important legacy.” 
 Said Richard V. Travis, Executive Director, “We can’t begin  
to thank Catherine enough for the exceptional professionalism 
and dedication she brought to her work. She was a pleasure to 
work with day in and day out, and she will be greatly missed.”