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OVN New Guide to Dutch Masonic archives


The OVN, a Dutch foundation for the advancement of academic research into the history of freemasonry in the Netherlands, recently published a useful guide to Masonic archives and documents in public collections in the Netherlands: Archiefwijzer maçonnieke archieven. Overzicht van historische archieven van Nederlandse vrijmetselaarsorden in openbare collecties (Den Haag 2007, ISBN 978-90-807778-4-2, 114 pages).

Although the guide is written in Dutch, the content might interest scholars from other countries as well. Most will be already familiar with the Cultural Masonic Centre in The Hague (the important collection of the Grand East of the Netherlands), but the archives listed here form a ‘missing link’ or rather ‘fitting puzzle piece’ to that collection.


The publication is the result of a project, which was carried out in 2006-2007. The OVN approached all public archives (state and municipal) in the Netherlands with a basic questionnaire, concerning the presence of Masonic documents or archives in these collections. Based on the data received and additional research, the OVN compiled an overview, which counts no less than 57 relevant collections. These collections contain the complete archives of 22 Dutch lodges, as well as hundreds of individual documents, such as letters and membership documents, from individual freemasons, dating from the 18th to the 20th century. These are listed in the guide, stating the address of the archive, the relevant registration number(s) and a short description.

The Archiefwijzer also provides contact addresses of relevant private archives, such as those in the possession of the Order of Freemasons under the Grand East of the Netherlands and three mixed Dutch Orders (Le Droit Humain, Nederlandsch Verbond van Vrijmetselaren, Nederlandse Grootloge der Gemengde Vrijmetselarij). Along with specialized libraries and academic organizations, a total of 75 organizations is included in the guide.


Thanks to the support of several cultural funds, the whole first edition could be distributed free of charge amongst students, scholars and archive professionals. Due to unexpectedly great demand, this stock is now already depleted. In March 2008, a second print run will be made available against production costs: € 10,- excl. postage. For orders and more information:


Andrea Kroon, OVN.

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