Europe's largest collection of Masonic prints in Polish city of Poznań
The biggest collection of Masonic prints in Europe (about 80,000 examples) is stored in the Library of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (western Poland). According to curators, it is the most popular part of the collection among foreign guests.
The most valuable and oldest documents include so-called Rosicrucian prints from the 17th century, Andrzej Karpowicz, an employee of the library told PAP. He added that the Rosicrucian movement is considered to be the forerunner of Freemasonry.
The Poznan collection includes printed materials such as magazines issued by lodges, lists of lodge members and descriptions of rituals that accompanied the admission of individual members.
"There are also hand-written songbooks, because music played a great role in Masonic ceremonies," the curator of the library Andrzej Jazdon said.
Library employees plan to partially digitise the collection and provide access to scanned documents and letters on a special internet platform.
Masons (or the Freemasons) are a social and ethical movement created at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Freemasons do not follow one leader and hold a variety of views - for example, not every branch of masonry believes in God.