The Library is open for reference use. It contains a comprehensive collection of printed books and manuscripts on every facet of Freemasonry in England as well as material on Freemasonry elsewhere in the world and on subjects associated with Freemasonry or with mystical and esoteric traditions. The collections include Masonic music, poetry and literature. There are a number of notable examples of fine eighteenth and nineteenth century bindings.
Admission to the Library and Museum is free of charge. It is located on the first floor of Freemasons’ Hall, there are lifts available which are suitable for most wheelchairs.
Users are required to complete a Reader Registration Form (pdf) and to provide identification and proof of address when they first use the Library or Archives.
A number of power sockets for laptop computers are available.
A staffed photocopying service and photographic service is provided. For details of current charges see photocopying and photography guidelines.
Staff are always pleased to help visitors with historical enquiries or to respond to telephone, written or e-mail enquiries and can advise about how to use Library and Archive resources. Staff cannot, however, undertake extensive research on individual enquiries.
The Museum contains an extensive collection of objects with Masonic decoration including pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, furniture and clocks, jewels and regalia. Items belonging to famous and Royal Freemasons including Winston Churchill and Edward VII are on display together with examples from the Museum’s extensive collection of prints and engravings, photographs and ephemera. The collection explores the different ranks, offices and branches of freemasonry. It explains some of the symbolism used, the charities set up, masonic dining habits as well as freemasonry abroad and during wartime. There is also a large collection of items relating to non-Masonic fraternal societies such as the Oddfellows and the Sons of the Phoenix.
The Library and Museum is the repository for the archives of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Supreme Grand Chapter of England and their predecessor bodies. The archive collections also include papers relating to buildings and sites associated with Freemasonry, charitable bodies associated with Freemasonry, some individual Freemasons, research papers collected or created by Freemasons and some lodge and chapter records. The Document Collection includes Masonic patents of appointment, certificates, warrants and charters and the Print Collection includes photographs, engravings and prints of freemasons and other individuals.
Archive material is available for consultation (subject to conservation requirements) during Library and Museum opening hours. Users are required to complete a Reader Registration Form (pdf) and to provide identification and proof of address when they first use the Library or Archives.
Please contact the Archivist in advance of your visit on +44 (0)20 7395 9258 to discuss your research, as some items are held off-site and may need to be retrieved before your visit.
To minimise waiting times, it is advisable to telephone in advance of any visit so that staff can have material available for you.