Sunday, February 22, 2009


Bro. Sal Corelli, a New Jersey Mason, manufactured
and manned the MLMA’s information display at Masonic Week.

Sticking its toe into the waters, as it were, for the first time at Masonic Week was the Masonic Library and Museum Association.

Not joining the program of meetings or banquets to be sure, the MLMA wisely arranged to have a display among the various research societies, authors and vendors on site, including The Masonic Society, the SRRS and Chris Hodapp.

Bro. Sal Corelli of New Jersey was the MLMA’s representative. He not only manned the display during the busy hours, but he also made it from scratch. Members of the Valley of Northern New Jersey – especially Glenn and Dave, the curators of its Museum of Masonic Culture – would be proud to know that the main illustration of the display is a photograph of their work.

Close-up shot taken inside the Museum of Masonic Culture
at the Valley of Northern New Jersey.

Bro. Sal is a faithful supporter of the cause behind Masonic libraries and museums. He has been instrumental in building up his lodge’s library; has become indispensable to the MLMA, traveling cross-country to support its meetings; and is cheerful about helping others get their own Masonic repositories started.

The mission of the MLMA is straightforward: “…to assist and support, through education, facilitation of communication, coordination of effort, those individuals charged with, or interested in, the collection, management, and preservation of Masonic heritage.”

A benefit of this is important and intangible, namely that when the authors and producers who put Freemasonry into the public eye with their books and films endeavor to learn about Freemasonry, they wind up at the major facilities that hold MLMA membership. And when lesser known academics perform their research in support of their theses, they visit MLMA members large and small. It is not an overstatement to say the MLMA plays a vital role in sparking the process that attracts people to Freemasonry, so if any grand lodge officers are reading this, please consider getting involved in the hard work of preserving and exhibiting Masonic artifacts and records. If you like the way popular culture has suddenly made your lodges appear to be relevant, then support the means by which the creative process is guided by historical facts.

Bro. Sal also displayed the MLMA’s new promotional literature, and made sure scores, if not hundreds, of Masonic Week attendees received copies.

One of the more innovative ways for grand lodges to get involved is to sponsor the digitalization of their archives of grand lodge meeting proceedings. This is being done by the George Washington Masonic Memorial, of which nearly all mainstream U.S. grand lodges are constituent members. The cost is approximately $500 per book. Several grand lodges have pursued this to date.

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