Research & Reference Services
Research & Reference Services provides access to original materials that 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, audiovisuals, and other materials available for in-depth research.
The Research & Reference staff welcome your questions about Mary Baker Eddy and the history of the Christian Science movement. We will also be happy to answer questions about your visit to the Library. Depending on the question, a response may be given immediately; in other instances, additional time may be required. Due to the heavy volume of inquiries, it may take up to six weeks to respond to a question. There is no charge for this service beyond copy costs, if applicable.
Ask a research question
Before contacting us, you may wish to see if the answer to your question may be found in Research Blog. You can also research on your own through the Mary Baker Eddy Papers Project.
Visit our blogs page to see what our researchers are working on, read articles about the collections and search previously asked questions. Blogs
Mary Baker Eddy Papers project
Since its opening in 2002, the Library has made available the personal papers of Mary Baker Eddy through its Research Room. Scholars, church members, and other interested visitors have had to come to Boston to access the more than 28,000 letters and manuscripts written by Eddy or her secretaries on her behalf. Now, with the Mary Baker Eddy Papers pilot project, the Library is bringing a first selection of these documents to you by making available online Mary Baker Eddy’s sermons and related documents. Learn how to best navigate the Mary Baker Eddy Papers with this video tutorial. Explore these selections from the Mary Baker Eddy Papers: Enter Site
Full research and archival services are available in our fourth-floor Archives & Special Collections room, where members of our experienced research staff are present to answer your questions. It is open Monday to Thursday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., and by appointment. The first-floor Research Room is also open for the public to explore our online collections database and to read reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy.
Catalog and finding aids
Prepare for your visit by learning more about our collections. You may wish to search our online catalog, browse our finding aids or review our online resources and databases. If you plan to visit, and know what you would like to see, please contact us so that we can have the necessary material ready for you.
2020 Research application
Click here to fill out your 2020 Research Application in advance of your visit.
The Mary Baker Eddy Library awards fellowships to academic scholars and independent researchers for research in its collections, which center on the papers of Mary Baker Eddy and records documenting the history of the Christian Science movement. Relevant areas of research include the fields of women’s history, spirituality and health, religious studies, nineteenth-century history, cultural and social history, architecture, and journalism. The Library’s research programs are designed to support original contributions to scholarship and help further research by established scholars, graduate students, and recent graduates just beginning their academic careers. Learn more about our Fellowship Program here.
- Research & Reference Services (fourth floor) open Monday–Thursday, 12:00 noon–4:00 p.m., by appointment, and on the first Saturdays of February, May, August, and November.
- Research line: 617-450-7218
Selected letters by Mary Baker Eddy from the Library’s collection are available for purchase. They shed light on Eddy’s own spiritual growth, her loving care and counsel to students, as well as her spiritual insights and healing ideas.