The Masonic Book Club (MBC) was formed in 1970 by two Illinois Masons, Alphonse Cerza and Louis Williams. The MBC primarily reprinted out-of-print Masonic books with a scholarly introduction; occasionally they would print original texts. (See “Past Publications” tab.) After some 40 years of service to the Craft, the directors in 2010 decided to dissolve the MBC. The club originally was limited to 333 members, but the number eventually expanded to nearly 2,000, with 1,083 members when it dissolved in 2010.
In 2017 MW Barry Weer, 33°, the last president of the MBC, transferred the MBC name and assets to the Supreme Council, 33°, SJ USA. The revived Masonic Book Club has the goals of publishing classic Masonic books and of supporting Scottish Rite SJ USA Philanthropies. Membership is open to anyone 18 years or older who is interested in the history of Freemasonry and allows you to purchase MBC editions at a pre-publication discount.
The new MBC will have a different business model than the old. Most significantly, there will be no dues; being a member entitles you to purchase books at a pre-publication discount. Check out the FAQ section below for more details. For specific questions, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does my membership from the original MBC carry over?
No. The directors of the original Masonic Book Club (1970) voted to dissolve and then later to disperse its assets to the Supreme Council, 33°, SJ USA, to be used for charitable purposes.
Do you have for sale any back volumes of original MBC editions?
No. They have been sold and dispersed. You might be able to find copies on used book web sites.
Will the new series of MBC volumes be individually numbered like the original MBC editions?
No. The logistics of tracking members and numbering their volumes exceeds what we can do with current staffing and keep prices reasonable.
How will MBC volumes be selected?
The volumes will be selected by an editorial committee (Arturo de Hoyos, S. Brent Morris, and others) using survey feedback from MBC members.
Why are there no dues for the MBC?
To streamline operations. Payments are collected only as books are ready to be manufactured and all transactions will be handled exclusively online. Without a rigid calendar driving publications, new books can come out in nine months or eighteen months as resources permit.
What will MBC volumes cost?
It depends on several factors—number of pages, effort required to obtain images of the pages, size of pages. A 300-page 6″×9″ book would retail for about $35 and the MBC pre-pub price would be about $25, all plus shipping and handling.
What if there aren’t enough pre-publication sales to justify printing a book?
The pre-publication funds will be returned to the members and another book selected later.
How will MBC members be notified of the availability of a new edition?
When a new volume is ready to print, an email blast will be sent to all MBC members giving them a window of opportunity (probably 4–6 weeks) to purchase the volume at a pre-publication discount. Delivery should be 6–8 weeks after the ordering window closes.
What if I miss the ordering window?
You can purchase from the MBC a copy at full retail price, while supplies last.
What if the MBC sells out of hardback copies before I order?
You can then purchase a paperback (print-on-demand) edition. You need to be proactive if you want hardback editions of new MBC volumes.
Will the MBC ever reprint a hardback edition of a new MBC volume?
If estimated demand ever reaches 400–500, then the MBC will consider reprinting a volume.
Will the MBC maintain regular contact with members?
Yes. The plan is to send a semiannual electronic newsletter to members (targeted for the two Saints John Days). Each newsletter will describe current volumes in production and publication details and will seek input from members as to future volumes.
Why would I buy a book from the MBC when I might find it for free on the web?
Because of the “MBC Sandwich.” It is intended that most MBC editions will have a facsimile of an out-of-print Masonic book preceded by a scholarly introduction followed by an index. Further, MBC editions will strive to achieve high standards in book construction and design.
If you do not see your question here, please email us at email@example.com.
Publications of the Masonic Book Club, 1970–2010
|1970||The Regius Poem||Masonic Book Club|
|1971||The Constitutions of the Free-Masons||Benjamin Franklin, ed.|
|1972||Ahiman Rezon||Laurence Dermott|
|1973||Illustrations of Masonry||William Preston|
|1974||A Serious and Impartial Enquiry into the Cause of the Present Decay of Free-Masonry in the Kingdom of Ireland||Fifield D’Assigny|
|1974||Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers||Ronald E. Heaton|
|1975||The Signers of the Declaration of Independence||David C. Whitney|
|1976||Masonic Symbols in American Decorative Art||Louis L. Williams & Alphonse Cerza, eds.|
|1976||The Signers of the Constitution of the United States||Masonic Book Club|
|1977||Samuel Prichard’s Masonry Dissected, 1730||Harry Carr, ed.|
|1978||Anderson’s Constitutions of 1738||Lewis Edward & W. J. Hughan, eds.|
|1978||Trestleboard (facsimile of Trestleboard by the Baltimore Masonic Convention of 1843)||Dwight L. Smith, ed.|
|1979||Sufferings of John Coustos||Wallace McLeod|
|1980||Bespangled, Painted & Embroidered: Decorated Masonic Aprons in America, 1790–1850||Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, Inc.|
|1980||Biblical Characters in Freemasonry||John H. Van Gorden|
|1980, Bonus Book||A Masonic Reader’s Guide||Alphonse Cerza, Thomas Warden, eds.|
|1980||The Revelations of a Square||George Oliver|
|1981||Three Distinct Knocks and Jachin and Boaz||Harry Carr|
|1982||Masonic Almanacs and Anti-Masonic Almanacs||Plez A. Transou|
|1982||Stephen A. Douglas, Freemason||Wayne C. Temple|
|1983||The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America||Melvin M. Johnson|
|1983||Making a Mason at Sight||Louis L. Williams|
|1984||By Square and Compasses: The Building of Lincoln’s Home and Its Saga||Wayne C. Temple|
|1984||Masonic Concordance of the Holy Bible||Charles Clyde Hunt|
|1985||Modern Historical Characters in Freemasonry||John H. Van Gorden|
|1985||The Old Gothic Constitutions||Wallace McLeod|
|1986||Ancient and Early Medieval Historical Characters in Freemasonry||John H. Van Gorden|
|1986||The Rise and Development of Organised Freemasonry||Roy A. Wells|
|1987||George Washington in New York||Allan Boudreau & Alexander Bleimann|
|1987||The Lodge in Friendship Village and Other Stories||P. W. George|
|1987||Medieval Historical Characters in Freemasonry||John H. Van Gorden|
|1988||Records of the Hole Crafte and Fellowship Of Masons||Edward Conder, Jr.|
|1989||A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons||Wellins Calcott|
|1989||Freemasonry and Nauvoo, 1839–1846||Robin L. Carr|
|1990||Masonic Odes and Poems||Rob Morris|
|1991||ABC of Freemasonry: A Book for Beginners||Delmar D. Darrah|
|1992||The Folger Manuscript||S. Brent Morris|
|1992||Lessing’s Masonic Dialogues||Gotthold Lessing|
|1993||Freemasonry and Christianity: Lectures from Two Ages||T. De Witt Peake & John J. Murchison|
|1994||The Constitutions of St. John’s Lodge||Robin L. Carr, forward|
|1994||The Mystic Tie and Men of Letters||Robin L. Carr|
|1995||Recollections of a Masonic Veteran||S. Brent Morris|
|1996||The Freemason’s Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry in Two Parts||Thomas Smith Webb|
|1997||The Masonic Ladder or the Nine Steps to Ancient Freemasonry||John Sherer|
|1997, Bonus Book||Freemasonry and Democracy: It’s Evolution in North America||Allen E. Roberts & Wallace McLeod|
|1998||The Masonic Harp: Collection of Masonic Odes, Hymns, Songs||George Wingate Chase|
|1999||Symbolic Teachings of Masonry and Its Message||Thomas Milton Stewart|
|2000||Freemasonry Its Meaning and Significance, An Exposition of its Ethics, Religion and Philosophy||Otto Caspari|
|2001||K. R. Cama Masonic Jubilee Volume||Jivanji Jamshedji Modi, ed.|
|2002||Caementaria Hibernica||W. J. Chetwode Crawley, ed.|
|2003||A Daily Advancement in Masonic Knowledge||Wallace McLeod & S. Brent Morris, eds.|
|2004||The Craftsman, and Templar’s Textbook and, also, Melodies for the Craft||Cornelius Moore|
|2005||The Text Book of Freemasonry||Retired Member of the Craft|
|2006||Orations of the Illustrious Brother Frederick Dalcho Esq., M.D.||Frederick Dalcho|
|2007||Antiquities of Freemasonry Comprising Illustrations of the Five Grand Periods of Masonry from the Creation of the World to the Dedication of King Solomon’s Temple||George Oliver|
|2008||Diogenes’ Lamp or an Examination of our Present-Day Morality and Enlightenment||Adam Weishaupt|
|2009||Proofs of Conspiracy Against All the Governments of Europe||John Robison|
|2010||The Evolution of Freemasonry||Delmar Darrah|