Research & Reference

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

Spotlight on Christian Science in Hollywood: “Missing”

The 1982 film Missing shares the true story of the disappearance of Charles Horman in Chile. Horman was a freelance journalist, whose writing credits include The Christian Science Monitor, and who was raised in Christian Science. The film stars Jack Lemmon—who gives a... read more

Women of the World: Lady Victoria Murray

“The tremendous responsibilities that rest upon us here become more evident to me daily. Love must be lived and felt and we are beginning to realize that fact.” —Lady Victoria Murray to Mary Baker Eddy The early Christian Science movement included men and women from... read more

Did Mary Baker Eddy care about the environment?

During Eddy’s lifetime, “environmentalist” exclusively meant a person who believed in the influence of the environment over heredity—nurture over nature, in other words. The first use of the word “environmentalist” to mean one who cares for nature did not appear until... read more

Calvin Frye’s camera

Pony Premo No. 6 camera owned by Calvin Frye (1984.37.407 A). Courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Collection. The Kodak Company sold this model from 1903 to 1906. It was considered to be of higher quality and more versatile than the previous “Premos.”   Reminiscences... read more

“Her rightful place”: Images of Pleasant View

Hand tinted photograph of Pleasant View, home and gardens, post-1895 (P06829). Courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Library   When Mary Baker Eddy was living at a house on North State Street in Concord, New Hampshire, she discovered what would become her home for the... read more

Women of the World: Clara Barton

I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them. —Clara Barton   Clara Barton and Mary Baker Eddy were contemporaries who shared the common goals of healing people and... read more

Advice to Healers Collection

Selected letters by Mary Baker Eddy from the Library’s collection are available for purchase. They shed light on Mary Baker Eddy’s own spiritual growth, her loving care and counsel to students, as well as on her spiritual insights and healing ideas. Advice to Healers,... read more

What was Mary Baker Eddy’s perspective on women’s rights?

Eddy made few statements about this, but we do know that she valued the efforts of the women’s rights movement of her day. In 1882 she wrote her student Clara Choate: “let us work as the industrious Suffragists are at work who are getting a hearing all over the land”... read more
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