The collections listed here are central to the Library’s mission and include letters, manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, books, periodicals, and other materials. The following is only an outline of these resources.
An asterisk (*) indicates that parts of these collections have been digitized and are available electronically on-site in our Research & Reference Services. They cannot be accessed remotely.
Collections drawn from the Organizational Records of The First Church of Christ, Scientist are also accessible. Researchers may also wish to use our reference collection, searchable via online catalog, and our collection of online databases.
Article and Manuscript Collection, c. 1835-1910*
This collection contains articles and other manuscript material written by Mary Baker Eddy, her secretaries, and others who wrote on her behalf. Specific material in this collection includes two volumes of “The Bible in its Spiritual Meaning” (also known as the Genesis Manuscript); two copybooks of poems and other manuscript material; two volumes of typewritten manuscripts and clippings for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany; two volumes of an edited typescript for Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896; two volumes of edited proofs for various publications including the Manual of The Mother Church; a volume of various deeds and leases.
Artifacts, c. 1830-1920*
The Library houses a large collection of artifacts, furnishings, fine arts, and textiles related to Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. Portions of the artifact collection are on display in the Library’s exhibit galleries.
Calvin Frye’s Library
This collection was purchased from Oscar H.P. Frye, nephew of Calvin Frye, Mary Baker Eddy’s personal secretary. Book and periodical titles include various Christian Science-related publications, reference books, and Bibles.
Eddy/Frye Scrapbooks, c. 1835–1913
This is a collection of 33 scrapbooks containing clippings from magazines and newspapers on subjects ranging from the Civil War to the rights of women, as well as articles on Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science, and the development of the Church of Christ, Scientist. A few books contain published writings or comments by Eddy. Finding aid includes titles of clippings, dates, publication titles, and other detailed information.
Mary Baker Eddy Pamphlets and Serial Publications, 1856-1910, 1912
The Mary Baker Eddy Pamphlets and Serial Publications Collection consists of over 600 items from Mary Baker Eddy’s files from her last residence at Chestnut Hill. The collection is made up of pamphlets and serial publications. The pamphlets consist of small leaflets or booklets of the writings of Mary Baker Eddy and additional authors including persons significant to the history of Christian Science (Edward A. Kimball, Bliss Knapp, Septimus J. Hanna, etc.). The serial publications consists of magazines and journals published at regular intervals (weekly, monthly, quarterly) mostly titles published by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Many of the items are annotated or marked as noted in the finding aid.
Georgine Milmine Collection
The Georgine Milmine collection documents research, writing, and correspondence related to a series of articles about Mary Baker Eddy that appeared in McClure’s Magazine from January 1907 to June 1908. The collection also contains material related to the 1909 biography by Georgine Milmine titled The Life of Mary Baker Eddy and the History of Christian Science, which was based on the McClure’s series.
Eddy/Frye Diary Collection, c. 1861-1917*
This collection contains 149 small notebooks written by Calvin A. Frye, Mary Baker Eddy’s personal secretary, with some entries by Mary Baker Eddy. Entries vary in content from “to do” lists, addresses, accounting, grocery lists, prayers (or watches), procedures for various tasks, and other items of note. Many entries contain sections of text in Pitman shorthand.
Historic Bible and Sacred Texts Collection, c. 1530-1980*
This diverse collection includes Bibles dating from the 1530s, with first editions of the Coverdale, Matthew, and King James Bibles. The sacred text of The Koran and a scroll of the Book of Esther are also in the collection.
Incoming Correspondence of Mary Baker Eddy, c. 1880-1910
This collection consists mainly of letters received by Mary Baker Eddy and members of her household from c. 1880-1910. A small quantity of earlier correspondence also exists in the file. Comments, notations, and responses by her or her staff also appear on some documents. Correspondents include family, students, employees, Christian Scientists, the general public, and a few notable figures such as journalist Arthur Brisbane and suffragist Mary Livermore. There are approximately 6,700 correspondent files, many consisting of one letter. It is likely that her personal secretary, Calvin A. Frye, organized this file with assistance from other secretaries in later years.
Mary Baker Eddy’s Library Books/Material
The majority of the books in this collection were found at Mary Baker Eddy’s Chestnut Hill home, where she died on December 3, 1910. It appears that changes in the makeup of the collection may have occurred while staff lived in the home from the time of her death until the early 1950s. It is not known how many of the books in this collection Mary Baker Eddy read; however, some books in this collection have been marked by her. This inventory does not represent all the books ever owned or read by Mary Baker Eddy. The collection also includes 39 Bibles owned by her.
Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896
Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 was first published in 1897. It is comprised of pieces written by Mary Baker Eddy, as well as other writings taken primarily from The Christian Science Journal. This index is intended to help in locating the original articles that are the source for much of Miscellaneous Writings. The information has been sorted chronologically, and also by the page number in which an article appears in Miscellaneous Writings.
Outgoing Correspondence of Mary Baker Eddy, c. 1835-1910*
The Outgoing Correspondence file consists of letters written by Mary Baker Eddy, her secretaries, or other household workers. Although a few letters date back to the 1830s, the bulk of correspondence is from the 1880s to 1910. Correspondents include students, friends, business associates, family, employees, and the Christian Science Board of Directors. Topics of correspondence include counsel, instruction, business details, invitations, and thank-you notes.
Photographs, c. 1850-1970*
Approximately 9,000 images of Mary Baker Eddy, and people, places, and events associated with her or the development of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, are included in this collection. Photographs taken by Calvin Frye, Minnie Weygandt, John Salchow, and other household members capture rare behind-the-scenes details of her daily life. Other historic images document a wide variety of subjects, including the building of the structures that form The First Church of Christ, Scientist, headquarters in Boston.
Publisher’s Correspondence File, c. 1885-1889
This collection of letters, mainly written to Mary Baker Eddy or Calvin Frye, includes orders for Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and other Christian Science publications. A number of letters contain reports of healing, requests for Christian Science treatment, and inquiries regarding class instruction in Christian Science healing. Letters are generally from her students, booksellers, University Press (Eddy’s printer), and others interested in Christian Science. This collection is part of the Incoming Correspondence File Collection.
Reminiscence File, c. 1890-1980
This file contains more than 800 largely retrospective accounts by men and women who knew Mary Baker Eddy. The reminiscences cover Eddy’s lifetime, from her childhood in New Hampshire to her final years in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Most were written in the decades after her death in 1910. Reminiscences are typewritten and handwritten; some diaries are included.
Subject File, c. 1800-present
This file contains documents on hundreds of subjects related to Mary Baker Eddy, her church, her achievements, and the men and women who knew and helped her. Arranged alphabetically by topic, the file includes information on the publication and sale of her major work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures; details on the organizations she founded and led; and biographical and family information.