The Illinois Masonic Library and Museum in Normal, IL, is for our Brethren across the State to enjoy the benefits of a centrally located facility for research and education, and for the preservation of Masonic documents and memorabilia. Affiliated with the Illinois Lodge of Research, the library was established in 1996 through a bequest of books from the family of Brother Edmund Sadowski, a member of Casimir Pulaski No. 1167. Following that initial contribution, Illinois' Masons or their families have contributed generously thereby increasing the collection in excess of 10,000 Masonic volumes and periodicals. Future donations of books and paraphernalia related to Freemasonry will be incorporated into the collection.
The Illinois Lodge of Research, in conjunction with a grant from the Andrew Torok Foundation, shares funding for the library. Brother Torok's estate provides an endowment for Masonic research and education. Torok was a member of Wayfarers Lodge No. 1001 in Evanston; and a member of the Illinois Lodge of Research since its inception in 1976.
Although the Illinois Masonic Library and Museum's book and periodical collection is international in scope, the collected works focus on Freemasonry in Illinois, which includes out-of-print Grand Lodge of Illinois books and publications. Also available are materials on Masonic jurisprudence, customs, paraphernalia, art and architecture, charities, lodge education programs and Appendant Bodies.
A book-lending program is in place whereby Illinois Masons may sign out two books for up to three weeks. It is requested that postage be reimbursed to the IMLM by the borrower. Due to their rarity, it may not be possible to loan select manuscripts.
In common with many libraries is the necessity to dispose of a few duplicate volumes. To address that situation, a list of books for sale is constantly being compiled as books are donated and catalogued, which will be sent to requestors by e-mail and posted to this aution site. Income from those sales is used to support the operating needs of the library.
The library's resources are available for research and education purposes. While it is preferable that a Mason will visit the library to conduct research, requests for research assistance will be undertaken when other commitments permit. Currently, the library is open every Thursday from 6-10 PM and other times arranged by appointment. Please confirm that the library is open prior to visiting.
Originally housed at the Scottish Rite Valley of Bloomington facility, the Illinois Masonic Library and Museum collection moved into the temple owned by Bloomington Lodge No. 43 several years ago, located at 302 E. Jefferson, Bloomington.
For additional information about the Illinois Masonic Library and Museum, contact:
Illinois Masonic Library and Museum
614 E. Lincoln St.
Normal, IL 61761