The museum contains over 8,000 titles and includes Masonic art and artifacts from California and around the world.
The Henry Wilson Coil Masonic Library and Museum seeks:
- To tell the story of Freemasonry in California to Masons and to the general public.
- To serve as a research source for both lay and professional Masonic scholars and researchers.
- To assist Masons who seek to increase and develop their personal knowledge of Freemasonry.
The following is reprinted from the Masons of California website:
Confronting the Critics: A new exhibitMasons | Anti-Masons | Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum | Freemasonry | Grand Lodge of California | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com
Submitted by: Allan L. Casalou
Chances are that most Masons today have never heard of William Morgan, but his mysterious disappearance in 1826 was a watershed event in American Freemasonry. The episode, commonly known as the "Morgan Affair" served as a galvanizing point for critics of the Craft and fueled a national political movement dedicated to banning Freemasonry.
Rather than ignoring the efforts of anti-Masonic activists, the Grand Lodge of California is hosting an exhibit of art and propaganda that opponents of Masonry, including those inspired by Morgan-related fervor, have created to sway public opinion against Masonic institutions. Some of the pieces, which will be shown at the Henry Wilson Coil Masonic Library & Museum in San Francisco from March 30th to October 1st, 2007, were created by individual artists who object to Masonry, while others were actually distributed by governments and political parties to promote official anti-Masonic policies.
"It may seem unusual to have this kind of art on display at the Grand Lodge, but Anti-Masonry is really an integral part of our history," says the library and museum curator Adam Kendall, who also serves as Fraternal Services Representative for the Grand Lodge."Whether we like it or not, there has always been strong opposition to Freemasonry and we shouldn't be afraid to confront it. In fact, I think we owe it to ourselves to try to understand what opponents are saying - and why they are saying it. In many ways, anti-Masonic rhetoric and art has been a major factor in how our identity has developed, and it is impossible to ignore the profound impact that our critics have had on the development of Masonry as we know it today. I think it's fair to say that we've simplified what we do as part of our effort to address the criticisms that have been leveled against Masons over the last few hundred years."
The exhibit will be open to the public April 2 through October 1, Monday and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays until 8:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Adam Kendall at 415-292-9137 or firstname.lastname@example.org