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(FRATERNAL.) Masonic certificate signed by Arturo Schomburg. Illustrated engraved certificate, 8 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches, completed in manuscript for member Joseph E. Capers upon his elevation to Master Mason, signed by Schomburg as secretary and three others, and bearing the embossed seal of the lodge; folds, minor soiling on recto, with additional notations, heavier soiling, and mount remnants on verso. New York, 5 March 1919
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (1874-1938) was born in Puerto Rico and came to New York as a young man, growing increasingly interested in his African heritage. Working as a bank clerk, he became an important collector, prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance, and a founder of the Negro Society for Historical Research. His collection formed the core of what is now the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. This certificate was signed by Schomburg as secretary of the Cornerstone Lodge #37 of the Free and Accepted Masons, part of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge. The printed form, engraved by Edward S.S. Glover, is itself of some interest, with the text appearing within an Egyptian-style monument.
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