About the publication
Title: The Northern Light
ISSN: 1088-4416 (Print)1
Purpose, objective, or mission: “Published since 1970, The Northern Light is the premier magazine of Scottish Rite Masonry in America.”2
Target audience: Members of the Scottish Rite and lay people interested in Freemasonry.
Publisher: Supreme Council, 32°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA.3
Peer reviewed? No.
Medium: Print and online.
Content: News and articles on the history, social, and humanitarian aspects of Freemasonry.
Frequency of publication: Quarterly.4
About the publication’s submission guidelines
Location of submission guidelines: There are none available online. An e-mail to the editor at editor [at] supremecouncil.org will get you the current guidelines.
Types of contributions accepted: All types of articles, editorials, reviews, letters to the editor as well as cartoons that deal with Freemasonry in a generally positive way. A past issue contained an article by an archivist about a historical aspect of freemasonry. A preference for articles that stress the humanitarian and social aspects of the Craft as well as historical articles is shown.
Submission and review process: No process is provided; it is safe to assume that the final word lies with the editor.
Editorial tone: Very informal, clearly written prose aimed at a generally mature audience.
Style guide used: None given.
Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors
At first it would seem that this magazine would not be a fertile place for the new writer to publish, but if you are an academic librarian and/or an archivist with an interest in esoteric Americana or US history, or you are, in fact, a Freemason, then this magazine is a natural fit for you. Freemasons generally have a keen interest in their history and the history of the country, and so these types of pieces are heavily sought, especially if photographs of Masonic ephemera accompany the piece.
There have been several pieces in past issues that have been written by archivists and librarians. Some have been Masonic librarians because the Craft owned a few special libraries, but most are non-Masons who work in a facility with some Masonic artifacts or a complete collection.
Don’t ignore these specialty magazines, they are usually hungry for material and their editorial process is also usually very informal and forgiving. You might not want to put one of these publications on a C.V., but it does allow you to get your feet wet and stretch your horizons a bit.
About the publication’s readers
Publication circulation: According to the website, “The magazine is delivered quarterly to every member of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction and distributed worldwide to other Supreme Councils and subscribers.” 5 Membership numbers are not provided, however, according to one website, “There are over 2 million Masons in North America and nearly 5 million worldwide.” So it is safe to assume the publication reaches a large audience. 6
Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The publication is in English and geared toward readers in the United States.
Reader characteristics: The majority of readers will be members of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers will not likely have much knowledge of LIS subject matter but will have a keen interests in matters pertaining to archives, history, and artifacts.
Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors
Readers of The Northern Light are a large, diverse group of people, likely older adults. To join the Freemasons one must believe in a supreme being. Philanthropy is important to them as is American history. Because of these traits, readers will likely be advocates of libraries. Articles discussing library collections that involve American history, Freemasons, or artifacts directly related to their culture would be successful.
Last updated: September 25, 2018
- The Northern Light, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed March 27, 2018, http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1522205701262/170818 ↩
- “The Northern Light,” ScottishRiteNMJ.org, accessed November 26, 2016, https://scottishritenmj.org/members-center/the-northern-light ↩
- The Northern Light, November 2016 2010, https://scottishritenmj.org/images/uploads/documents/16NOV.pdf ↩
- “The Northern Light.” ↩
- The Northern Light accessed September 25, 2018 https://scottishritenmj.org/the-northern-light ↩
- “Little Known Facts” 32degreemasons.org accessed Spetember 25, 2018 http://www.32nddegreemasons.org ↩