In honor of the nation's bicentennial, the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction dedicated the museum and library in April of 1975. Just a few years before, Sovereign Grand Commander George A. Newbury (1895-1984), the motivating force behind the museum and library, conceived the institution “… to tell a thrilling story--the story of America.” Since then, the museum has collected objects, documents and books related to American and Masonic history and presented exhibitions and programs exploring the same subjects.
On official documents founders called the museum the “Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, Inc.” but did business and promoted the organization as the Museum of Our National Heritage or as the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage. In 2001, the public name of the museum was shortened to National Heritage Museum, but our legal name remained Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, Inc. Over the last few years, we have been getting back to our roots and using our legal name accompanied by the symbol of the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction—a crowned double-headed eagle with the motto Deus Meumque Jus (God and My Right) to acknowledge our founding, special connection to and continuing support by the Freemasons of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. You may have seen the name and logo changes in our publications, promotional material, on our building signage and now we feature the change here, on our blog.
As it has for the past four years, our blog will continue to explore intriguing aspects of our object, archives and library collections. We will also keep readers abreast of exhibitions, programs and other special events. Right now we are preparing for an exhibition of selections from our rich map collection—in its first year alone, the museum purchased over 30 historic maps for its holdings. This image shows a detail of one of the maps that will be featured in the upcoming exhibition, "Journeys and Discoveries: The Stories Maps Tell." Most importantly, our blog is a place where we can hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please get in touch!
Detail from Carte tres curieuse de la Mer du Sud…, 1719. Chatelain family, Zacharie Chatelain (d. 1723) and Henri Abraham Chatelain (1684-1743). Amsterdam, Holland. Van Gorden-Williams Library, 001-1975 1719. Photograph by David Bohl.
Scottish Rite Double-Headed Eagle Pendant, ca. 1912. Gift of the Supreme Council, 33º, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA, 2010.042.61a-b. Photograph by David Bohl.