Help with the Masonic Digital Archives

The Masonic Digital Archives works like most other online repositories of print and graphic resources. Learning how to search in the Masonic Digital Archives will make your sessions more productive.

There are two different kinds of search in the Masonic Digital Archives, and you’ll probably want to use them both. The first is Collection Search, which lets you search an entire Collection or group of Collections, and the second is BookReader Search (also known as Detail View), which lets you search within a printed resource (such as a book) once you have loaded it. Both searches are easy to use.

For an online tutorial of using LUNA, please click here.

If you have tried searching and have gotten no results back, read these instructions carefully.

Performing a Collection Search

If you do not know where or when the item you are seeking is found in the Archives, doing a Collection Search is the best way to locate examples of it within a wide array of materials. Collection Searches are done in two ways:

  • Simple Keyword Search. At the upper right corner of the Archive interface is a box that looks like this:

    1. This box is Collection specific, so you will need to ensure that you have the Collection you intend selected from the COLLECTIONS option on the leftmost side of the main navigation bar. (You may also select All Collections to perform a truly global search.
    2. Note the selectors at the top of this box: “Search Catalog Data” vs. “Catalog Data & text in Documents”. What’s the difference? Catalog Data is the metadata about an item. For image resources—such as photos of Masonic artifacts—this is the best option. But for books, you’ll want to use “Catalog Data & text in Documents”, because that will search the actual text content of the book pages.
    3. Limitations: Long phrases are hard to search for due to line wrapping and page wrapping. So, instead of searching for “The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association”, try “Washington Masonic National” or “Memorial Association”. This cuts down on omissions due to page wrapping.
  • Advanced Search. This is a very powerful tool which can be accessed from the upper right of any Archives page. With Advanced Search, you can specify exact words to search (including standard AND/OR operators), and in what Collection(s). However, you will not get the results you need unless you select the appropriate settings.

    The “In ___________” selector before each text entry field is crucial. If you are trying to search within books, do not leave this option as “All Fields”. You must change it to “In Text Documents”, or you will get no results.

    At the bottom of the Advanced Search pop-up box, you will see the Collections selector. You may unselect any Collection that you are not interested in. Note the options to “Select All” and to “Clear Selection”. These can save you valuable time.

    Using these two methods, you will be able to locate materials in the Masonic Digital Archives effectively. Now, let’s look at what to do once you have found your resource.

    Performing a BookReader Search

    Once you have loaded a book or other print-based resource into the viewer, a new search box will appear. This is the BookReader Search. It is different from Collection Search in that it searches only within the book you have loaded.

    Search inside the book by clicking on the magnifying glass. An entry box will appear along the right edge of the screen. Enter the text you’re looking for and the results will appear to the right of the book with corresponding page numbers. The text you’re searching will also be highlighted in the pages themselves. If there are many results, you may have to scroll down on the results sidebar in order to see them all.


    As with many digital libraries, direct printing is not available. However, there are two options:

    1. Art and artifacts may be printed out using the “Printer Friendly” option. To use it, simply click on the “Printer Friendly” option (near the top right edge of the object) to open a new window with the image and all media information in a printer-friendly format.
    2. Book pages require download in PDF form, as Luna software does not currently support printing them directly. Simply select the “Export” button on the upper right edge of the opened book. This will bring a PDF file to your screen from which you can print the book out in whole or in part. You may also be able to select text directly from the PDF version book for copy and paste purposes, depending upon your software.

    Other Questions

    Q: Is there a way to go full-screen, to make the text as large as possible? A: Yes. Use the “Open Book in Full View” button.

    Q: Do I need to use a login? A: No. The login is simply used by administrators. You may access and search the collections anonymously.

    Q: The book I want to print from does not have an Export button. What should I do? A: In this case, there is no PDF copy of the book available. Printing pages from such books will require use of the clipboard, as Luna software does not currently support printing them directly. In these cases, the “Printer Friendly” option can only display the book’s metadata and not the pages themselves. However, screen capture does allow for pages to be placed in the clipboard and pasted into other programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc. To capture a screen in Windows, press the Print Screen button on your keyboard, then go into your destination document (in Microsoft Word or any other program that supports images) and select Edit > Paste. To capture a screen on Macintosh, press Command-Shift-4 and use the crosshairs to decide how much of the screen to take; then go into your destination document (in Pages or any other program that supports images) and select Edit > Paste.