Once affiliated with the Illinois Lodge of Research, the Library and Museum are now under the ownership and care of the Masonic Lodge in Bloomington Normal IL. It was established in 1996 through a bequest of several thousand books from the family of Brother Edmund Sadowski, a member of Casimir Pulaski Lodge No. 1167. Since that initial contribution, the collection has grown to more than 10,000 titles. Donations of artifacts related to Freemasonry are incorporated into the Museum collection.
Thanks to a grant from the Andrew Torok Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Illinois Lodge of Research, for many years had shared the funding for the Library and Museum. Brother Torok was a member of Wayfarers Lodge No. 1001 in Evanston and the Illinois Lodge of Research since its inception in 1976. In 1996, his estate provided a substantial endowment to fund Masonic research and education activities.
Although our periodical collection is global in scope, the collected works focus on Freemasonry in Illinois, which includes out-of-print Grand Lodge publications, plus titles on Masonic jurisprudence, paraphernalia, art, architecture, charities, and appendant bodies, as well as hundreds of museum-quality artifacts, many of which are on display.
A book-lending program is in place whereby Masons in Illinois may sign out two books for up to three weeks, with the request that postage is reimbursed by the borrower. It may not be possible to loan certain rare or antique manuscripts.
In common with many other libraries is the necessity to dispose of duplicate volumes, and a list of such titles is maintained as books are donated and cataloged. Income from these sales is used to support the operating needs of the Library and Museum, as well as to make it possible to add to the collection.
The Illinois Masonic Library is located at the Normal Masonic Temple in Normal, Illinois. The street address is
614 E. Lincoln Street.
Entrance to the temple is on the back side.
The Lodge of Research is open these days and hours:
We are currently looking for a librarian for the Library. If you or someone you know is interested, contact the secretary of the Illinois Lodge of Research who will connect you with the right people.
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RWB:. John Meek - Keynote Speaker - The Practical Application of Freemasonry