"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Sunday, September 04, 2011

GL of Indiana Library & Museum Summer Update

The Grand Lodge of Indiana Library & Museum has made enormous progress over the summer months in its new home in Indiana Freemasons’ Hall. The painstaking job of opening literally thousands of boxes of items continues, and the volunteer workers have been rediscovering and sorting treasures into a manageable collection. The work is slow at times because of the care required not to cause further damage, and to preserve our heritage. Each carton and every single bit of wrapping paper must be examined to be certain no tiny, priceless item is missed.

The Board has enlisted the assistance of Ramona Duncan-Huse, Senior Director of Conservation and Preservation Imaging at the Indiana Historical Society. We have also hired two Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis interns to aid in organizing, archiving and preserving our most important items, as well as guiding us in making display decisions. The collection of aprons that date from the 1700s is especially in need of care to stabilize the delicate fabric and artwork they contain, as well as research into their origin. Many fragile items were damaged in the 1990s while at the Museum’s temporary home in Franklin during a catastrophic steam leak, and we are determined to protect all we can from further deterioration.

New computer equipment and Past Perfect software has been purchased to assist with the archiving process. New museum cases are being explored, and custom lighting is coming, along with some innovative electronic display equipment that will make the experience more informative, interactive and entertaining than just cases lined with endless rows of coins, medals and other artifacts.

In addition, a website will soon be available to provide information, as well as future expansion that will include an online catalogue of the library’s books and an archive of our museum collection.

In order for any museum to be useful, its collection needs to be changed regularly. Our goal will not be to display everything we have all at once, but to find themes and programs to evolve over time. It will always be a work in progress.

The Library & Museum is located on the 5th floor of Freemasons’ Hall in Indianapolis, and doors will be open during Founder’s Day in January. Regular hours will be forthcoming. If you are interested in visiting or volunteering with this important work, contact the Library Museum Board chairman Mike Brumback, PGM, at mike.brumback@att.net

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