In the course of researching this book Robert consulted an old book on Freemasonry written by William Preston in 1796. This book contained a lot of fascinating material about the role of Sir Thomas Gresham and the Tudor and Stuart monarchs in encouraging an interest in science and education. Unfortunately the book is long out of print and has no index. In order to facilitate his own research Robert transcribed the book into HTML format to create a computer searchable file so he could look for the material he needed to produce The Invisible College.
Having gone to all this trouble it crossed his mind that if he had been carrying out this project for his students he would have automatically made the background material he had created available on the web. Why not do it for interested readers of this history book, he thought? He approached his publishers with the idea, pointing out that it was something which computer text books did as a matter of course, and so presented no technical difficulties. "Why not give any interested readers the whole background text for Preston in a web based format?" he asked.
His editors at Headline agreed and so the paper book "The Invisible College’ has been published in conventional form but it contains instructions within it to enable readers to consult the out-of-print William Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry which Robert had already transcribed into web format for his own use.
William Preston would surely be greatly impressed to see his detailed history of Freemasonry and its formation in the new format of the Information Age. His long ‘s’s have been transformed into a modern font and his copious and lengthy footnotes are hidden behind click buttons.
Readers of the Invisible College will not have to take on trust the contents of this long neglected work and its comments on the founders of modern science.
They can now read it for themselves on the Web.
Full details of how to access Preston's Illustrations of Masonry on the Web are included with The Invisible College.
:: Access Preston's e-Illustrations of Masonry