Masonic Book Club

Masonic Book Club Logo: a merged terrestrial and celestial globe sitting on an open book atop a pillar capital

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 the Scottish Rite, SJ, U.S.A. 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 [email protected].

Join the Masonic Book Club

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 $40–$50, and the MBC price would be about $30–$40, 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 about four months 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 protected].

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