Freemasonry is the world’s oldest secular, fraternal organisation. The first Grand Lodge was formed in London in 1717 and was one example of the development of associational life beginning in the eighteenth century which is considered critical to the development of modern, industrial society. There are an increasing number of references to freemasonry in English magazines and newspapers but, from the end of the eighteenth century up to the present day, various series of periodicals began to be published in London primarily by and for a Masonic audience.
These publications are important sources not only for understanding the issues within freemasonry but for providing information about the individuals involved and the localities where lodges were based. Few complete series of these periodicals are held in libraries and they have only limited indexes.
This site provides access to searchable digital copies of the major English Masonic publications. A full list of the titles and editions covered is given here.
As background and for further information the following articles are available:
- A list of English Masonic periodicals held by The Library and Museum of Freemasonry (Listed in chronological order)
- An article on ‘Fraternal communications: the rise of the English masonic periodical‘, by Rebecca Coombes.
- An article on ‘Masonic Journals in mid-Victorian Britain‘, by Professor Aubrey Newman
This project was undertaken by the Library and Museum of Freemasonry partnered with King’s College London Digital Humanities and Olive Software. The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons provided funding for the pilot version of this project and part funded the completed project.