Iowa/U.S. – Explore hidden treasures of the Freemasons at Cedar Rapids Masonic Library


Explore hidden treasures of the Freemasons at Cedar Rapids Masonic Library

(by Joe Coffey, The History Center, The Gazette, August 26, 2020)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Hidden in plain sight at 813 First Ave. SE are world-class collections of books, artifacts and art. The Iowa Masonic Library and its museums are not advertised on a sign out front. Instead, the facade says “Grand Lodge of Iowa, AF & AM.” It might sound off-limits to non-Masons, but the treasures inside are there for everyone.

The white Vermont-marbled edifice was dedicated in 1955, replacing the original library building that occupied the same spot. The original building was the first Mason-specific library in the world, built in 1884 and eventually replaced when its collections grew too large.

Librarian/curator Bill Krueger has given tours and guidance to Masons, historians and anyone curious enough to walk in for nearly 22 years. There are 150,000-plus volumes of literature, many of which predate the country’s founding.

Among the artifacts are Babylonian tablets, a suit of samurai armor and a Civil War battle flag.

I asked Krueger to identify the five most significant items in the building, a difficult task for a historian who sees value in every scrap of paper. Here’s what he said he’d prioritize grabbing in…

read more in The Gazette:
Explore hidden treasures of the Freemasons at Cedar Rapids Masonic Library

Explore hidden treasures of the Freemasons at Cedar Rapids Masonic Library
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