Library & Museum

Grand Lodge LibraryGLLibraryThe Iowa Masonic Library is reputed to be the largest in the world, and is at least one of the top five, with over 150,000 volumes. Both Masonic and general books are included in the collections and the library is open to anyone. Located at 813 First Avenue S.E. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the building is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Follow this link to the Iowa Masonic Library Online Catalog

Iowa Masonic Library and Museums

Photos of the facility and collections in the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums

[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_2-front-hall.jpg]13050Foyer of the Iowa Masonic Library looking into the War Memorial Room
[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_3-entrance-to-war-memorial-room.jpg]2180Looking into the War Memorial Room from it's entrance
An admirable project of the Grand Lodge was the creation of a Committee on Military and Naval Masonic Activity which was to render service to brethren and sons of brethren in the armed forces. The resolution was introduced by Past Master Charles C. Clark at the Annual Communication in June 1941. Funds for the committee's work were to be provided by voluntary contributions. The committee lost no time in becoming active and in a letter to each lodge on February 7, 1942, made its first report. On August 26, 1942, the then Grand Master, Ford L. Van Hoesen, asked for a contribution of twenty-five cents from each member. This request was repeated for the next five years, being discontinued after January l, 1947. By a request of the committee in June 1943, the funds available to the committee were to be allotted as follows: 40 %, to the Masonic Service Association; 40 % to rehabilitation, and 20 % to Iowa's program of service. In June 1946, Grand Master William L. Perkins recommended to the Grand Lodge that a portion of the money from these contributions be set aside to erect a war memorial as a part of the new Grand Lodge Library building which was now in the early planning stages. His recommendation was adopted. Surplus funds of the committee were invested in government bonds, and when construction of the new building was started in 1953 the bonds were cashed and the sum of $47,435.00 was available. This made possible the exquisite memorial hall with a roster of lodge members who served during the war.
[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_4-war-memorial-room-carpeting.jpg]1830Carpet of War Memorial Room
The carpet in the War Memorial room is made of Australian wool shipped to Puerto Rico, dyed, woven into the rug and then sheared to leave the Masonic emblem outstanding.
[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_5-war-memorial-room-stained-glass.jpg]1750War Memorial room south east window
The hour-glass is an emblem of mortality and refers to the passage of time from which none can escape.
[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_6-war-memorial-room-east.jpg]1510View looking to the east in the War Memorial room.
At the east end of the room hangs the painting "Victorious Peace" by Edwin J. Bruns of Cedar Rapids, the gift of Burdette Lackman of Burns Lodge No. 173 of Monticello.
[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_7-war-memorial-room-stained-glass.jpg]1470South center window War Memorial room
The center window denotes patriotism and dedication to our country as well and the ever-burning flame, an emblem of eternity.
[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_9-victorious-peace-edwin-bruns.jpg]1520"Victorious Peace"
Painted by Edwin Bruns in 1956 displayed in the "War Memorial Room" This painting denotes the sense of well being and prosperity that had returned to the world and America in particular as well as Freemasonry.
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[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_11-masonic-lodge-emblem-butterfly-wings.jpg]1230Masonic Lodge Emblem
The artwork depicted in this frame is a square and compass, the symbol for the Blue Lodge of Masonry. It is made entirely of matching blue, yellow and tan iridescent butterfly wings. The picture is dated 1918 and belongs to Trinity Lodge No. 208 in Davenport, Iowa. The original owners were Roy and Anna Appleby. It was returned to Iowa from California in 2001 by Mrs. Dale McClure.
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[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_41-general-museum-native-american-pottery.jpg]880The pottery in this exhibit specifically represents the Pueblo cultures of this region, including Acoma, Hopi (Moqui), and Zuni.
James Stevenson, a geologist with the United States Geological Survey and the Bureau of American Ethnology, collected many of the pieces in this exhibit case. These artifacts were then given to Theodore S. Parvin and subsequently donated to the Iowa Masonic Library about 1894. James Stevenson also made extensive ethnological collections for the Smithsonian Institution. Stevenson died in 1888. The black on black pottery in the upper portion of the exhibit contains signed pieces by Maria Martinez from the 1920s.
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[img src=http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/wp-content/flagallery/iowa-masonic-library-and-museums/thumbs/thumbs_library-front-3-1.jpg]480This building was completed in 1955 and replaced the original building on the same location which had been built in 1884. The new building cost a little over $1,000,000. It is constructed of Vermont Marble, with grey marble from Carthage, Missouri, lining the interior halls. Metal work in the windows, doors and stair rails is of bronze. The main portion of the building is over 245 feet long and 50 feet wide, while the library west wing is 113 feet deep.
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