Contents of this article
John Lane's Masonic Records 1717-1894 is an authoritative listing of all the lodges established by the English Grand Lodges from the foundation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717 up until 1894. It was published by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1895 and proved to be a very useful reference book for anyone with an interest in freemasonry under any of the English Grand Lodges. Masonic Records enables the early history of freemasonry in a particular place to be readily traced and provides information about individual lodges.
In 2003, The Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism under the Directorship of Professor Andrew Prescott in collaboration with the Library and Museum of Freemasonry produced an electronic version of Lane's book. Since 2008 the Library and Museum of Freemasonry has been adding lodges that came into existence after 1894 to the database.
Strengths and weaknesses
Lane used a wide range of published and unpublished sources in researching his book to ensure its comprehensiveness, and post-1894 updates are similarly drawn from the Freemasons' own archives. The sources include Grand Lodge Registers and Minutes, Proceedings, Warrants and Warrant Books, Calendars and Lists, and Registers.
The resource is rich in place name information and will be of interest to local historians among others as well as historians of freemasonry. Locations can be viewed on interactive maps.
The resource is a database compiled from a transcription of John Lane's original work, updated with records of more recent Lodges. The database is searchable by keyword, lodge name, date and specific Masonic categories of information.
About the project
This new version of Lane's Masonic Records is a joint venture between the Library and Museum of Freemasonry and the Humanities Research Institute at The University of Sheffield.