Latest news

Grand Librarian Message

Grand Libra Banner V1

Grand Librarian Message

Grand Library Musings by Bibliophile (February 2023)

So you want to set up a Masonic Library at home

Many Freemasons pride themselves, and rightly so, on the collection of books on Freemasonry, they have collected over the years. Is this something you aspire to do? Here are a few thoughts for you to ponder.

The first question to ask yourself is, why do you want a Masonic library at home when there is a really good Grand Lodge Library (the David & Yvette Ganon Library) now located at Kingsley Masonic Centre?


  • You want to impress your Masonic Brethren and other friends with your extensive collection. If this is your only motivation, upgrading your car might be a better option.


  • You want to make that daily advance in Masonic knowledge or are keen to start researching Freemasonry, in which case what follows is for you.


Where to start?

First and foremost, the VSL upon which you took your solemn obligation as a Freemason. You might also consider collecting the VSLs pertaining to faiths and belief systems other than your own.

Secondly, you will need a good dictionary, a thesaurus (if you don’t know what a thesaurus is, look it up in the aforesaid dictionary), and a guide to English grammar, such as Fowler’s “Modern English Usage”. If you want to write persuasively and elegantly, you must choose the right words, spell them correctly, and order and punctuate them to avoid ambiguity and ensure clarity.

The answer to many of your questions about Freemasonry will be found in just a few books. It’s the old 80:20 rule – 80% per cent of the answers to your questions will be found in 20% of the books. Here are two excellent books to get started with:

Bernard E Jones, “Freemasons Guide and Compendium” – this excellent book has been in print since 1951, which shows its usefulness. It is UGLE based, especially with respect to the Mark and Royal Arch. Having said that, it should be on every Freemason’s bookshelf

Harry Carr, “The Freemason at Work” (7th edition revised by Frederick Smyth) – WBro Harry Carr was Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge in London for many years, and his list of Masonic honours from all around the world is truly amazing and well deserved. This book is a series of questions and answers, so the contents list and index are extensive.

There are many other modern writers on Freemasonry, for example, Julian Rees and David Harrison (this is by no means an exhaustive list). Lewis Masonic are one of the largest publishers of Masonic literature, and browsing their website will give an idea of what’s in print.


Books to avoid

Anything by non-Freemasons purported to know all about the Craft because the author’s next-door neighbour had a Mason cousin. Conspiracy and fake histories usually include references to churches in villages in the Languedoc or sometimes Egypt. Books by Dan Brown and the like are fun to read but are not to be relied on as a credible source of Masonic knowledge. Be careful of some esoteric books – sure, Freemasonry has its esoteric side, but be guided by a trusted mentor; don’t run before you can walk.

The Grand Lodge Library has extensive books on Masonic and related topics. If you’re in the Kingsley area, why not call in for a browse and a chat? Open most mornings at Kingsley Masonic Centre (ground floor); call 08 9309 5877 to check if we are open.


VWBro David Shearer
Grand Librarian

Stay in the loop

Subscribe for the latest updates from The Grand Lodge of Western Australia. Be the first to know about our events, news, and more.