We are introducing our new OVN podcast series 'Vrijmetselarij, geschiedenis en onderzoek' (Freemasonry, history and research). This first installment is in English. Listen to the lectures presented at the international conference about the Dutch Museum of Freemasonry in May 2023. If you could not be there in person, you can still enjoy the fascinating talks by international experts from various fields of study on the history and scope of this amazing collection. Listen to the podcast here or subscribe to it on Spotify or another podcast platform.


International OVN conference 2023

'A heritage collection, unparalleled elsewhere in the world': An introduction to the Museum of Freemasonry in The Hague

On May 25th 2023 academic experts from the USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and The Netherlands will discuss the history and cultural importance of the 'Vrijmetselarij Museum', the Museum of Freemasonry in The Hague, The Netherlands. The collection reflects not only the development of freemasonry, its tolerant worldview and unique ritual tradition, but also 300 years of Dutch history, as well as the lives and works of 70.000 members. Pre-registration is already possible via info@stichtingovn.nl
The program with information on registration fees, location, etc. is available on this page. All presentations will be given in English.


Pause in posts

 We have decided to temporarily pause adding new posts to this blog. Partially for personal reasons, as our small team sometimes needs to concentrate on work and family issues. Partially for practical reasons, as news on academic events and publications is shared much quicker through social media. Please feel free to follow us on Twitter: @stichtingovn.


Freemasonry at Tong Tong Fair 2016

Tong Tong Fair is a famous, annual Asian festival, which takes place in The Hague, The Netherlands, from 28th May until 5th June 2016 This year, freemasonry and its historical lodge buildings are amongst the themes explored in the festival's exhibition, lecture and actvitities program. For more information, follow this link: tongtongfair.nl/vrijmetselarij/.

Building of Lodge De Vriendschap, Surabaya, founded in 1808.
Photo: CMC Prince Frederik, The Hague


Upcoming thesis defence

Our chairwoman, art historian Andréa Kroon, has for the last few years been working on a thesis with the title: Masonic networks, material culture & international trade. The participation of Dutch freemasons in the commercial & cultural exchange with Southeast Asia, 1735-1853. This project has recently been completed. Kroon will defend her thesis on 26 november 2015 at the Leiden University. More information is availale (in Dutch) in the online calendar of the university.


CMC to remain in The Hague

The Cultural Masonic Centre in the Hague has been closed to visitors since summer 2014 in preparation of an anticipated move to another location. A decision has now been made by the Order of Freemasons under the Grand East of the Netherlands to move its historical archive, library and museum collection from a building in the Jan Evertstraat to its new headquarters in the Javastraat in the same city. This brings an end to years of discussion and controversy about a new home for this important collection of masonic heritage.
Meanwhile, the CMC collection is participating in various digitalisation projects of the National Library in the Netherlands, which means more of the collection will be accessible online in the near future.

14th International Symposium on the History of the Spanish Freemasonry

The CEHME (Center for Historical Studies of the Spanish Freemasonry) International Symposium on the History of the Spanish Freemasonry is taking place in the north of Spain, in Gijón, September 10-12, 2015. The symposium invites scholars to share their experiences and conclusions on the contextual framework of Spanish-Portuguese and Latin American Freemasonry. From Absolutism to Democracy. (1815-2015). Information: rehmlac.com


Network Weave

Research network WEAVE (Western Esotericism in modern Art and Visual Culture) is a thematic network of ESSWE (European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism). WEAVE aims to be a a research network connecting scholars studying the interplay of heterodox spiritualties with Modern western art and visual culture. Scholars of all disciplines, interests, backgrounds and convictions are welcome. The phrase “heterodox spirituality” includes Western esotericism, occultism, occulture, mysticism, alternative Modern spirituality, and contemporary spiritualities. See the new website (which includes a conference agenda) for more information: networkweave.com.


Handbook of Freemasonry

OVN- board member dr. Jan Snoek (University of Heidelberg) and dr. Henrik Bogdan (University of Gothenburg) have been working together for several years on a major project for Brill Academic Publishers: The Handbook of Freemasonry. This pioneering reference work includes contributions from leading scholars in the academic field of study, The first section covers historical perspectives, such as the origins and early history of the Order. The second deals with the relationship between freemasonry and religious traditions, while the third covers organisational themes, such as ritual practice. The fourth section deals with issues related to society and politics - women, blacks, colonialism, nationalism, and war. The fifth and final section adresses the subject of freemasonry's relationship with culture and the arts.


David Vergauwen PhD

Last Wednesday, May 21, David Vergauwen was awarded a doctoral degree from Free University Brussels-VUB, with highest distinction. David Vergauwen is an historian, art historian and musicologist and graduated at Ghent University. He is a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group Freemasonry-VUB. 
His dissertation subject was "Où peut-on être mieux?" Muziek en muzikanten in de negentiende-eeuwse Brusselse vrijmetselarij. (The best place to be. Music and musicians in 19th-century Brussels Freemasonry.) Supervisor was professor Jeffrey Tyssens. The abstract to his dissertation can be downloaded here