There are hundreds of thousands of Masonic books, however, rare Masonic books are very difficult to find.
Which book was the first Masonic book published in America?
First Masonic Book in America:
The first edition of the first Masonic book published in America was printed by Brother Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1734. It was a reprint of Brother James Anderson's work, known as "Anderson's Constitutions," printed by William Hunter in London, which was published in 1723 under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England.
It is entitled: "The Constitutions of the Freemasons".
It contains the History, Charges and Regulations of the Most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity. It was compiled by Brother James Anderson, D.D..
It is a very important book which contributed to the development of not only colonial society, but the formation of the Republic. It contains a 40-page history of Masonry:...beginning with Adam to the reign of King George I.
It is an historical account of the science of Geometry and the Royal Art of Architecture and includes, among others, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Hiram Abif, Nebuchadnezzar, Augustus Caesar, Vitruvius, King Athelstan the Saxon, Inigo Jones, and James I of England. This work also includes 5 songs.
The reprint published by Brother Benjamin Franklin in 1734 is now very scarce. One known copy of "The Constitutions of the Freemasons" is in the Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Knights Templar Rare Masonic Books
The Trial of the Templars: A two volume set of the book, "Processus Contra Templario" (The Trial of the Templars) was recently donated to the Library of the Supreme Council, 33 Degree, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction in Washington, D.C..
This is the historically true account of the execution of the Templars and the political circumstances surrounding it.
It was published in 2007 by the Vatican Secret Archives and is limited to just 799 copies. It is a facsimile and transcription into Italian and English of the confessions made to a commission appointed by Pope Clement V by 72 templar knights under interrogation from June 28 to July 2, 1308.
The Chinon Parchment is also within these 2 volumes. Only rediscovered in 2001, after having been mis-filed in the Vatican Secret Archives, this document is the papal absolution of the Templars from charges of heresy. Only 2 copies of the 799 are currently within Masonic libraries. The 2 facsimile volumes are bound in leather, with gold leaf lettering within a leather case which is about 18" x 13" x 5".
One of the books is the Italian and English translations of the documents and the other contains facsimiles of the original parchment documents. Within the Chinon Parchment are the impressions of the 3 wax seals of cardinals Pietro Colonna, Pierre de La Chapel and Berenger Fredol.
Other Rare Masonic Books:
Ahiman Rezon: Or a Help to a Brother, by Laurence Dermott. The first edition was printed in London by James Bedford in 1756, and an abridged and digested version by William Smith, published by the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia in 1783.
Early editions of Jeremy Cross's The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor, compiled by Amos Doolittle and printed in New Haven, Connecticut in 1820.
Printed copies of 18th-century Masonic orations, such as those delivered by Isaiah Thomas and Thaddeus Mason Harris.
There are many, many more rare Masonic books.
Mass market versions of most of these books are also available if you just want to read the book, rather than collect them as investments or donate them to one of the Masonic libraries.
Rare Masonic Books - Online
The links, below will take you to an online bookstore offering rare Masonic books offered by old book dealers across the world:
The links are pre-queried to find rare Masonic books that are:
Old Out of print books Rare books First editions Collectible Difficult to find books...
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Possible Uses For Rare Masonic Books
For your own private library
To write a Masonic research paper or Masonic white paper
To donate to one of the Masonic museums
To use as bibliographical and/or historical information should you choose to write a Masonic book of your own...or
If you want to give an authoritative Masonic speech about a specific, but lesser known Masonic topic.
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