Masonic Library & Museum Association

MLMA 2017 Annual Meeting

Location - Providence, Rhode Island

Dates - September 28-30, 2017

Download PDF with full details & registration



Wednesday, September 27th

Early arrivals, informal get-together.

Thursday, September 28th

2:00 PM Business meeting and election of officers at Grand Lodge, Unity room.
5:00 PM Grand Lodge tour of library and building.
7:00 PM Depart hotel for “Dutch Treat” dinner at the Madeira Restaurant   288 Warren Ave. East Providence.
7:30 PM Dinner scheduled.

Friday, September 29th

9:00 AM Bus pickup at hotel for tours of the day.     (Bus tour is limited to 38 people)
9:30 AM Tour of the Providence Athenaeum, archives, and collections. (
10:45 AM Tour of the John Hay Library/Brown University, archives, and collections. (
12:00 Noon Bus departs John Hay Library for lunch at Davenports Restaurant -- East Providence

12:30 – 1:30 PM Lunch

1:45 PM Bus departs for Redwood Library and Athenaeum – Newport, RI
2:30 PM Arrive at Redwood Library and Athenaeum, archives, and collections.  (
3:30 PM Short Walk to the Newport Tower for an interpretive tour.
4:15 PM Bus departs for hotel, arrival approximately 5:15 PM
7:00 PM Dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn, Greetings from M∴W∴Peter Iacobucci, Grand Master and MLMA
President, Brian Rountree. Social gathering.

Saturday, September 30th

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast at Grand Lodge
9:00 AM Welcome, Grand Master & MLMA President
9:15 – 11:45 AM  2-Presentations, Break, 1 Presentation, announcements.
12:00 Noon Lunch Grand Lodge dining room.
1:30 – 4:00 PM 2-Presentations, Break, 1 Presentation
4:00 PM Meeting wrap-up, announcements
7:00 PM Banquet at Grand Lodge
8:30 PM Banquet presentation; “H.P. Lovecraft, Providence, and Freemasonry”

Sunday, October 1st

Departures for home.




Hilton Garden Inn Providence
220 India St. Providence, RI 02903
Telephone: 401-272-5577
Fax: 401-272-5577

We have received a group rate of $159.00/per night under code: MLMA You must make your room reservations directly with the hotel.

Online registration

Hotel room rate deadline is September 13, 2017, after this date the rate will be $197.00/night, please reserve early to assure your reservation and rate, cancellations must also be made by this date or you will be billed for 1 night accommodations, there are no exceptions.

The Hilton Garden Inn is located on upper Narragansett ay/Providence River in a wonderful setting overlooking


Presentation Abstracts


Bryan Simmons          
“Masonic Con – Finding Masonry’s Place in the Future”

Brother Bryan Simmons is the current Junior Warden of Ezekiel Bates Lodge A.F. & A.M. Brother Simmons is the founder and curator the Attleboro Masonic Museum, co-founder of the Masonic study group, Lvmen Scientaie as well as several other Masonic bodies and historical based city committees in Attleboro, MA. 2 years ago in an effort to help boost education and introduce the several appendant bodies to the members of the Craft. Masonic Con came to be,
which in its 2nd year brought over 400 people the Ezekiel Bates Lodge.

John J. Coelho           
  “A Work in Progress: The Creation and Evolution of an Online Digital Collections Site”

John Coelho is the Archivist of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. He holds a Master’s Degree (M.S.) in Library Science from Simmons College and a Master’s Degree (M.A.) in history from Providence College. Mr. Coelho has over five years of digital project management  experience,  and he has successfully  managed  digital projects  for the Museum’s  Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives,  and the National Archives at Boston.

In this presentation, I will briefly outline the process behind the creation of the Van Gorden-Williams  Library & Archives’ online digital collection site, My presentation will touch upon subjects such as, digitization for access versus preservation; the importance of creating work flows; selecting a content management system or CMS; and how to create your own digital asset management system or DAM. I will conclude with a discussion on the next step in the evolution of the Library & Archives’ online digital collection site.

M\W\Simon R. LaPlace                     
is the MSA ?”

Simon R. LaPlace is a Past Grand Master of Connecticut. During his 9-year progression through the offices of the Grand Lodge, he was Editor-in-Chief  of the monthly Connecticut  Freemasons  publication.  He is a former board member of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. Professionally, he worked at the
family retail home furnishing business which he closed in its 108th year in 2005. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s
School  of  Hotel  Administration.   Simon  met  his  wife,  Deborah,  while  they  worked  together  at  a  restaurant  in Massachusetts. They moved to Maryland in October of last year when he assumed his new duties as Secretary of the Masonic Service Association. They have one son who is living in Berlin, Germany.

The Masonic Service Association was originally created to provide a single voice with whom the federal government could communicate regarding Freemasons serving in World War I. My presentation will demonstrate how the organization evolved, as well as the history of the creation of its educational materials, and their relevance in today’s Masonic world. Other areas of the Masonic Service Association’s activities will be explained that may have significance to the Masonic Museum and Library Association but which are, none the less, integral to MSA’s responsibilities. Artifacts, samples, and mementos will be displayed, some of which would be a welcome addition to any Masonic library.

Walter H. Hunt                                        
 A Digital Resource for Freemasonry”

Brother Walter H. Hunt received the Masonic degrees in Norumbega  & Brookline Lodge, Newtonville,  MA in
1988 and served in its officer line thereafter. In 1993-94 and 1994-95 he was Worshipful Master of that lodge, and was its  Secretary  from  1997-2003,  assisting  in  the  consolidation  of  that  lodge  with  Fraternity  &  Fuller  Lodge  to  form Norumbega Fraternity Lodge in 2001. He has also served as Master of Mount Hollis Lodge in Holliston, MA in 1999-2000 and 2005-2006. In 2002, Brother Hunt was appointed Grand Representative of the United Grand Lodge of Germany near the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and in 2012 he was appointed Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge, a position held only once before (in 1907-09). He is married and the father of a daughter who has twice served as Worthy Advisor of
Natick Assembly No. 28 IORG. He has been Librarian of the Grand Lodge since 2014.

Kathryn Boodle                                               
Collections Care and Conservation

Kathryn Boodle has studied and worked in the conservation field since 2010, beginning as an intern at a private conservation  lab in Columbia,  SC. She completed  student  work placements  at the National  Maritime  Museum,  the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Museum of London-Docklands in London, as well as at the Glucksman Conservation Centre, Aberdeen,  Scotland.   Kathryn earned her MA in Art Conservation  at the University  of the Arts (Camberwell College of the Arts,) London. She is a member of the American Institute for Conservation, the Institute of Conservation (UK), and the International Council of Museums.

Conservation can be a costly endeavor and determining conservation priorities to best protect and stabilize the collection as a whole in a sustainable way can be challenging for any institution. Each object has a unique set of problems, history, and associated value, as well as various other factors that go into determining where it falls in terms of priority. The question therefore is how to best choose objects for conservation and the extent to which that conservation is carried out. Understanding the limitations of the objects, the amount that they are accessed, relative importance to the institution, and environment which they will be stored post-treatment will all help guide conservation treatment. In looking at a series of parchment documents from the Masonic Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, conservation priorities and treatment factors will be used to highlight common questions in dealing with materials that are prevalent throughout the Masonic Library community.

Donovan K. Loucks                                        
Lovecraft, Providence and Freemasonry”

Donovan  is the creator  of The  H. P. Lovecraft  Archive  (,  the  foremost  web  site devoted exclusively to H. P. Lovecraft. His articles on Lovecraftian geography have appeared in Lovecraft Studies and Lovecraft Annual, and his photographs of Lovecraft-related  sites have been published in I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft (Hippocampus  Press), The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (University of Tampa Press), and The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft (Liveright). A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Donovan lives in Lovecraft’s hometown of Providence with his wife, Pam, and their two black cats, Isis and Kemet.

H. P. Lovecraft is considered by many to be the 20th centurys greatest writer of horror fiction. His maternal grandfather, Whipple Van Buren Phillips, was Lovecraft’s father figure for much of his childhood as well as a Freemason. This presentation will introduce you to Lovecraft’s life and works, and explore elements of Freemasonry in Lovecraft’s fiction, letters, and travels. It will also examine the life of Whipple Phillips himself and his involvement in Freemasonry.