Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eastern Illinois University: Freemasonry Exhibit

It's fun to be a writer.  I just never know where it's going to take me next.  Every once in awhile, I get a chance to do something really interesting--like assisting with a college research project.

As I've learned from researching and writing my own books, Freemasonry has played an important role in American history back to the Revolutionary War.  Freemasonry is an ancient organization, and it has served many important roles.  For example, Masonic Lodges were vital in establishing strong communities, especially in rural areas.  They also served as places of learning in areas where colleges did not exist.  More and more, today's colleges are including aspects of our Craft in their history curriculum--like Eastern Illinois University.

As part of EIU's HIS 4930 class, students researched Freemasonry in Illinois, and were required to put together and install a public exhibition.  The EIU History Department recruited six Freemasons to help with it, and I was one of them along with Michael Shirley, Noel C. Dicks, Frank Lincoln, Marc Wilson, and William Jones.

Booth Library: Eastern Illinois University
I got an email this week--the class has finished the exhibit.  It is called "Building a Brotherhood: Freemasons in Illinois" and it opens next week at the Booth Library on the EIU campus.

The public is invited to attend a reception on Wednesday, November 28th between 4:30 - 6 in the West Reading Room of the Booth Library.  The exhibit will run through January 18th.  After the exhibit closes, the materials from the exhibit will go to the Illinois Lodge of Research where it will become part of their permanent collection.

It was a lot of fun being involved, and I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibit.   I plan on attending the reception--so if you find yourself in the area, come by and see it with me.

There was an article written about it in the Journal Gazette & Times Courier.


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