This is a great time to be a Masonic researcher. Since the invention of the internet libraries have slowly began to digitize their libraries of Masonic literature and Grand Lodge proceedings and other documents and allow interested parties around the world to gain Masonic knowledge at the speed of light.
Recently the original records containing the first one thousand Shriners from the founding of the order was found in an old locker. These records from Mecca Shrine aka “Mother Mecca” have been digitized and uploaded to the internet. They can be found here.
The Shrine was founded by two Masons, Walter M. Fleming, M.D. and William J. “Billy” Florence who frequently lunched with a group of Masons at the Knickerbocker Cottage on Sixth Avenue in New York City. For more information about the early history of the Shrine visit this link.