The Quarry Project
by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. James Dillman
President of The Masonic Society
Before I delve into the main topic of this column, I’d like to express a few thoughts about “The Midnight Freemasons” blog and the brethren who write for it. I’ve been a regular reader from the very beginning and was immediately impressed by the quality of the writing. It is no secret why this blog has become so popular among Freemasons. It is an excellent mix of history, philosophy, symbolism, lodge development, editorial comment, and the personal experiences of the various writers. I am fortunate to know several of these brethren personally and I can assure you that each of these men not only talk the talk, they walk the walk of a Freemason. I am very grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to write a guest column about an event that I believe will be of value on some level to every Freemason.
The Masonic Society, the Masonic Library and Museum Association, and the Masonic Information Center, a branch of the Masonic Service Association, will present The Quarry Project II on September 18-20 at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites in downtown Indianapolis, IN.
The Quarry Project is a continuing effort designed to promote Masonic research and preservation by providing instruction and guidance to both new and experienced Masonic writers, researchers, and editors, both within and without the fraternity, and to Masonic librarians and museum curators on the display, preservation, and cataloging of Masonic archives. Phase II will feature a third track on Masonic public relations sponsored by the Masonic Information Center. The public relations track will feature presentations on the use of social media and other topics designed to improve communication between Masonic organizations, their members, and the public at large.
The research, writing, and editing track is sponsored by The Masonic Society. Topics to be addressed in the breakout sessions include how to obtain original source materials, how to use an academic library, communicating your research, Masonic blogging, on-demand printing, and publishing options. One session will be devoted to the recently released Quarry Project Style Guide, a project that was initiated at the first TQP in 2013. The first edition of the style guide has been released and is published on the TQP website. Several prominent Masonic publishers have already agreed to adopt the style guide.
The library/museum track is sponsored by the Masonic Library and Museum Association. Breakout session presentations will include library collection development, cataloging your library collection, using your museum collection in exhibitions, photographing and numbering your collection, connecting your audience to your collection, collection policies, and a case study on building a museum from the ground up. A round table discussion regarding procurement and use of college interns will also be part of this track.
The public relations track is sponsored by the Masonic Information Center. The breakout session topics include use of social media, awareness via Masonic philanthropy, public relations and marketing, advertising and media campaigns, history of the MIC, and a look at Masonic public relations from outside the fraternity.
In addition to the presentations, there is ample time to network with the presenters and other attendees. The opportunity to share experiences, address specific problems, and establish connections with experts in your particular area of interest often turns out to be as valuable as the presentations themselves.
You don’t have to be a published writer, author, or editor of a publication with a large circulation to benefit greatly from this conference. Neither do you have to be a grand lodge librarian or museum curator. The Quarry Project will benefit local lodges of research as well as anyone interested in conducting Masonic research. It also provides brethren who maintain the local lodge library and artifacts with information and instruction that is not readily available elsewhere.
The public relations track will prove very useful not to only grand lodge officers, but to current and future officers of local lodges. Every Masonic organization has to communicate and many of the problems that plague our groups tend to be associated with poor and ineffective communication. This will be an opportunity to hear from several grand lodges, as well as those in the private sector, who have successfully managed their communication, both internal and external.
You can visit The Quarry Project website at www.thequarryproject.com to view the complete list of topics and our distinguished group of presenters. You will also find all of the particulars on registration and accommodations. Questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org . Once again, I wish to thank The Midnight Freemasons for this opportunity and I look forward to seeing many of you at The Quarry Project in Indianapolis.
Bro. James R. Dillman is a native of Royal Center, IN and was raised as a Master Mason in Royal Center Lodge 575 in Royal Center, IN on March 4, 2000. After relocating to Indianapolis in 2002, he affiliated with Logan Lodge 575 in Indianapolis and served as Worshipful Master in 2005. He also affiliated with Lodge Vitruvian 767 in Indianapolis and served as Worshipful Master in 2011. He is a member of the Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research.
Additionally he is a member of the Valley of Indianapolis Scottish Rite, currently serving as Thrice Potent Master of the Adoniram Lodge of Perfection. He is also a member of the York Rite, AMD and York Rite College.
He currently serves as President of The Masonic Society, where he is a founding member and fellow. He has written for the Indiana Freemason Magazine, the Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis Double Eagle, The Journal of the Masonic Society, and The Art of Manliness e-magazine. He is a frequent guest speaker at Masonic lodges and related organizations.