Although the central collections of masonic orders are usually cared for by the national Grand Lodge, many individual lodges also house historical collections. These private collections are vulnerable and require professional care, which can pose both a practical and financial problem to their owners. Lodges of other fraternal and esoteric organizations experience the same problems, and have the same wish to preserve their heritage and make it accessible to members and students. But within their own organizations, the necessary practical know-how and financial means are often lacking.
This is why the OVN organized a practical course on preventive conservation, collection management and heritage subsidies for lodges on 12 December 2008. It was attended by 21 participants from both masculine and mixed masonic Orders in the Netherlands, and the Dutch association of Spiritualists, Harmonia. Having established that there is a need for this kind of information, the OVN intends to publish a brochure with practical information for lodges on how to care for their archives, libraries and object collections, including do's and dont's, addresses of suppliers of conservation materials, and information on relevant subsidies. In 2009, a practical course will be organized on the theme of heritage subsidies, offering practical assitance with the application process in order for individual lodges to secure funding for the conservation of their collections.