In early 2011, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library curatorial staff began an ambitious project to digitize our historic photograph collection by scanning each photo and making the image and its basic descriptive information accessible via our website. Flash forward five years, to today, and we have completed this project with more than 2,500 images accessible! They are searchable by names, places and virtually any other term.
In celebration, here is just one image from our collection – a photograph from 1913 showing members of Boston Commandery at the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Part of the Masonic Knights Templar fraternity, Boston Commandery dates its founding to 1802. The group often enjoyed making “pilgrimages” to visit other Commanderies around New England. While the exact details of this 1913 trip to Plymouth are unknown, Boston Commandery had taken part in this monument’s dedication on August 1, 1899.
The monument’s central figure is a depiction of Faith, with one foot resting on a replica of Plymouth Rock. Four smaller seated figures around the base represent morality, law, education and liberty – all values cherished by the Pilgrims. For other images from Knights Templar excursions, search our online collection or read this previous post.
Now that we have completed digitizing our existing photograph collection, we are moving forward with other projects. We have started digitizing our collection of Masonic and fraternal badges, ribbons and jewels. Over 100 of these objects are already accessible online, with many more to follow. We will also be starting to digitize our collection of prints and engravings in the coming months, including our notable Dr. William L. and Mary B. Guyton Collection of over 600 images of George Washington (1732-1799). Check back often to see what’s new!
Boston Commandery at the National Monument to our Forefathers, 1913, E. Chickering, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library Purchase, 2001.015.10.