From the Collections: The Paul Deland scrapbooks

November 29, 2022

Paul Deland posing with a decorated cake that says, "50th Anniversary"

Scrapbook photo: Paul Deland poses with a cake at the 50th-anniversary party, 1958. LSC029.

Paul S. Deland (1881–1965) was a foundational member of The Christian Science Monitor, faithful to instilling within its pages a practical commitment to truth and human welfare.1 His colleagues inside and outside the newspaper’s editorial department saw his dedication to this purpose, and at the time of his retirement they expressed their gratitude in a gifted scrapbook. This two-volume artifact in The Mary Baker Eddy Library’s collections contains handwritten notes and illustrations that express appreciation, recall memories, and extend well-wishes to Deland for his 50 years of service to the Monitor at his 1958 retirement.

Originally from North Brookfield, Massachusetts, Deland attended public schools in the nearby city of Worcester, as well as Williston Academy in Easthampton.2 He came to Christian Science before his time at the Monitor and noted this in a reminiscence:

One of my earliest recollections is my interest in the difference I discerned in prayer. My parents had been Congregationalists and I had attended that church. Up to the time I read [Mary Baker] Eddy’s definition of prayer, I thought of it as an abstract voicing of an appeal, usually for material well-being, to a personal God. But from Christian Science I got an entirely different conception of the aims, objectives, and efficacy of prayer, and how to pray in a practical way.3 

After graduating from Williston, Deland stayed in New England to start his newspaper career, eventually settling in at the Boston Traveler, during which time a trip to Concord, New Hampshire, set him on the path to establishing his later legacy. 4  In 1907 he went up to New Hampshire on a press-release assignment for the Traveler, where he was first acquainted with Eddy. A few months later he began work at the Monitor, before its first publication on November 25.5 He would go on to hold many positions, including reporter, copy editor, financial editor, American news editor, and managing editor. He extended his editorial duties as a member of the paper’s editorial board from 1936 to 1939, and served on its Editorial Counsel after that.6 

Deland also played an especially important role in developing the news staff and mentoring young reporters. During his tenure, junior staff came to call his particular brand of teaching the “Deland School of Journalism,” which, according to longtime Monitor editor Erwin D. Canham, conveyed three concepts: the tradition and commitment of the Monitor itself; the use of words; and the development of ideas.7 

Deland’s colleagues included recognition of this mentorship in the scrapbooks. And many other tokens of appreciation illustrate his contributions to those beginning their Monitor careers. In one memento, a mighty hand branded P.S.D. (Paul S. Deland) reaches from the sky toward a kneeling man, his own arm outstretched. Its touching message declares:

The hand that has helped so many struggling apprentices in the newspaper field deserves a big one… Paul S. Deland, we thank you.

(Click photo to enlarge.)

Deland’s attention to detail was not only focused on cultivating a certain Monitor writing style but also to “turn the news right side up.” In a 1937 address on the history of the Monitor, he stated that, early on, the staff was determined to focus on “harmony instead of discord, to let truth dominate instead of error.”8 One way he achieved this goal was to keep opinions confined to the newspaper’s editorial page.9 Within the news section, he and his fellow editors chose captivating—but important and truthful—stories highlighting “worthwhile activities,” in contrast to the fearmongering stories that predominated in many other newspapers.10 Deland’s belief in Christian Science informed the way he sought to bring the influences of peace and truth into each article. In his words: 

My reminiscences as a Christian Scientist, of course, find expression for the most part in my work on the Monitor which occupies practically all of my time seven days a week. To recount them would be a voluminous task. My understanding and application of Christian Science enters into every story I have written for the Monitor, and into every story I have edited, and into the preparation of every story I have had the privilege of directing.11

Deland’s colleagues knew of his commitment to Christian Science, which is Bible-based. One contributor to the scrapbook’s second volume put this way:

Paul S. Deland: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant:…’ Matthew 25:21

(Click photo to enlarge.)

This echoed the sentiment of another well-wisher in the first volume, who featured a store-bought greeting card in the center of the page:

Fifty years of service for the Cause of Christian Science! What a record, and I understand you would like to do it all over again.

(Click photo to enlarge.)

Deland’s colleagues were not the only ones to acknowledge his journalistic prowess. Those throughout the publishing field also joined in. Notably, the New England chapter of Sigma Delta Chi awarded him the Yankee Quill Award for his contribution to journalism in New England, just a few years after he retired.12 This prestigious honor was by no means the only one bestowed on him by a professional organization. 

These scrapbooks reveal Paul Deland’s 50-year journey of instilling journalistic and personal integrity into every Monitor article he touched. Their pages reveal many other inside jokes, personal stories, and tokens of appreciation—and especially a host of touching tributes to a man who had a profound impact on generations of journalists. This collection illustrates a joyous send-off to one of the newspaper’s true veterans. While his time at the Monitor was ending, the spirit of his legacy would very much continue, right up to the present day. 


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  1. The Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, gave the newspaper an objective “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind” (see Eddy, “Something in a Name,” The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany [Boston: The Christian Science Board of Directors], 353). “Something in a Name” was the lead editorial in the first issue of the Monitor.
  2. “Paul S. Deland,” The Christian Science Monitor, 24 March 1965, 6.
  3. Paul S. Deland, n.d., Reminiscence, 1.
  4. “Paul S. Deland,” Monitor, 24 March 1965, 6.
  5. Paul S. Deland, n.d., Reminiscence, 3.
  6. “A dedicated life,” Monitor, 25 March 1965, 16.
  7. Erwin D. Canham, Commitment to Freedom: The Story of The Christian Science Monitor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1958), 207.
  8. “Paul S. Deland,” Monitor, 24 March 1965, 6 and “A Brief History of the Development of The Christian Science Monitor,” Christian Science Sentinel, 10 July 1937, 900.
  9. ”“From the Address of Paul S. Deland …” Sentinel, 1 August 1936, 957.
  10. Paul S. Deland, “The Mission of Our Daily Newspaper,” Sentinel, 30 June 1951, 1140.
  11. Paul S. Deland, n.d., Reminiscence, 6.
  12. “Paul S. Deland,” Monitor, 24 March 1965, 6.