For some considerable time there has been major concerns regarding the written records of the Scottish Craft.
Following discussions at the Information and Communications Committee (ICC) of the Grand Lodge of Scotland it was agreed that a seminar be held in order to assess the extent of the problem and to offer advice to Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges.
To this end the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow and in particular their Education Committee, agreed to host the event at the McCance Lecture Theatre, University of Stathcyle, Richmond Street, Glasgow at 2.00 PM on Saturday, 14th March 2009.
166 Freemasons from all over Scotland attend the seminar
Presentations were made by Bro. Robert Cooper, Curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum and Library, who gave a Power Point presentation on the digitisation, preservation and re-binding of Grand Lodge records.
Brother Charles Winston, the Archivist of Lodge Montefiore, No.753, also gave a Power Point presentation. He began by addressing the main problems which have led to the loss and destruction of Masonic records in recent years. He focused on the need to preserve Masonic ephemera such as: Billets; Installation Cards and Diplomas - all of which have a part to play in telling the story of Scottish Freemasonry, and he stressed the need to raise the profile of Masonic Archives at the Provincial Grand Lodge level and also in individual lodges.
Bro. Dr A. Trevor Stewart, Depute Master, Lodge Sir Robert Moray, No.1641, concentrated on why it was important to preserve all Scottish Masonic material until, at least, they could be examined and assessed. The main emphasis of his presentation was, however, on the use that could be made of such material such as the writing of Lodge histories, biographies of men who were Scottish Freemasons and the importance that the Craft had in their lives.
Professor Arthur McIvor of the Oral History Department of the University of Strathclyde gave very interesting and thought provoking Power Point presentation on how 'non-physical' history could be used by Scottish Freemasons. He provided an insight to the value and importance that audio and visual (film and video) history could add an extra dimension to written and printed Masonic records.
(Left to Right), Speakers, Brother A. Trevor Stewart; Bro. Robert L D Cooper; Professor Arthur McIvor; Bros. Charles Winston and Alistair Henderson, Depute Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow.
The session ended with a lively question and answer session on a whole range of issues relating to Scottish Masonic records and how best to preserve the history of the Scottish Craft. For example the matter of whether computer generated Minutes were being printed on good enough paper to stand the test of time was revealed to be a major concern.
A variety of hand outs were available and these, it is hoped, will be posted on this web site in the near future for download.