Research & Reference

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The Library archives contain original materials that richly document the life of Mary Baker Eddy and the church she founded. The collections are central to the Library’s mission and include letters, manuscripts, organizational records, photographs, artifacts, books, periodicals, and other materials available for in-depth research. To ask a research question, please do so here.

Research & Reference Services is located on the 4th floor of the Library, and is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the First Saturday of February, May, August, and November. Please note that researchers are asked to fill out a Research Application form upon arrival.

Visit the Finding Aids page for further information on the Library’s collections of original historical materials related to Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. For more information on how to best access and utilize those collections, please Plan Your Visit.

A Note About Family History Research

The Mary Baker Eddy Library is not a genealogical library. However, we can respond to some queries using organizational records of the Church of Christ, Scientist, including membership records for individuals who passed away before 1974. Member records typically include only the following information: name; date of admission to membership in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist; mailing address at time of admission; and, date of decease or withdrawal from membership.  Additional information on members who were practitioners listed in The Christian Science Journal includes dates of Journal-listing.  Please note that member records do not include baptismal, marriage, or other family history information. Contact Research and Reference Services for more information.

History Blog & Research

Women of the World: Annie Knott

Next in our monthly series: A woman who helped break new ground in turn-of-the-century Christian healing.

Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Mary Baker Eddy

To commemorate the publication of the Emancipation Proclamation, artist Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900) sought to depict President Lincoln reading it to his cabinet in September 1862.

Were African-Americans involved in the early history of Christian Science?

Yes. One noteworthy individual was Marietta Webb. Her first experience with Christian Science was in 1897, when she called a practitioner to help her young son, who was very ill.

How did Mary Baker Eddy get around in the wintertime?

“Whenever there was the least bit of snow, enough to make the roads at all passable, we used to take the wheels off of her carriage and put on the runners.

Was grace said before meals in Mary Baker Eddy’s household?

We have found some information on this topic in reminiscences written by members of her household. At Chestnut Hill, where Eddy lived from 1908-1910, there was no established procedure for saying grace before meals.

Women of the World: Susan B. Anthony

Next in our monthly series

Audiocast: Revelations — What Scholars Learn from the Mary Baker Eddy Collection

On March 7 at 2pm, join Dr. David Holland, a Research Fellow at The Mary Baker Eddy Library and Associate Professor of North American Religious History at the Harvard Divinity School, and Mike Davis, Senior Researcher at The Mary Baker Eddy Library, for a conversation on how The Mary Baker Eddy Library collections are bringing about new understanding of Mary Baker Eddy.