rare masonic books, the alexander collection






Rare Masonic Books

Rare Masonic Books

The Alexander Collection

The collection of rare Masonic books compiled by J. M. Alexander in the late 1800s is being donated to the George Washington Masonic Memorial Library in August of 2012. It is coming from the private collection of Daniel and Penelope Hood, and will be available to all Masons and the public to enjoy.

Here you see four rare books from the collection that were published between 1804 and 1889. The full set of works includes first editions, works by famous authors, and ritual books in Masonic cipher that can only be read by Master Masons. Shown here are:

     "Illustrations of Masonry"   by William Preston   (1804)

     "The Gems of Masonry"   by John Sherer   (1859)

     "Lights and Shadows of the Mystic Tie"   by R. Morris & Albert.G. Mackey   (1889)

     "Cabala: Rites and Ceremonies of the Cabalist"   in cipher   (1888)

Illustrations of Masonry   by William Preston   (1804)

This is the first American edition of this celebrated work by William Preston. It is drawn from the tenth London edition. This book was printed in Alexandria, Virginia 208 years ago and is now going home, to be seen in the Masonic Library in Alexandria. The picture at the top of this page shows this rare edition. These are some of its pages:



The Gems of Masonry   by John Sherer   (1859)



Lights and Shadows of the Mystic Tie  by R. Morris & Albert.G. Mackey  (1889)



Cabala: Rites and Ceremonies of the Cabalist  --  in cipher   (1888)

This ritual book is entirely in Masonic cipher, except for the title page that is shown here. It is small enough to fit easily into a pant pocket, being only 4 inches wide and 5.8 inches high. The soft leather cover includes an extra flap that folds over to protect the pages. The book contains a complex series of rituals that run 198 pages in length.


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