On December 13, 1898, the Christian Science Board of Directors adopted a By-Law that Mary Baker Eddy had submitted. It established a three-person “Publication Committee,” tasked with obtaining “the publication in respectable newspapers or such as she [Eddy] shall select―whatever the Pastor Emeritus commits to them for this purpose.”1 In accordance with Eddy’s wish, this By-Law was not made public, for unknown reasons.2

On January 9, 1900, Eddy submitted another By-Law, calling for a “Publishing Committee.” The Board adopted this By-Law on January 11. At Eddy’s request news of it appeared in the January 18, 1900 edition of the Christian Science Sentinel.3

For several months the church’s publications confusingly used both the names “Publishing Committee” and “Publication Committee.” This was ironed out when the second By-Law appeared in the 14th edition (1900) of the Church Manual and “Publication Committee” became the standard title, used through the 56th edition (1906). However occasional references to the “Publishing Committee” still appeared for years.

The shift from “Publication Committee” to “Committee on Publication” officially took place on September 5, 1906, with the adoption of By-Laws that replaced the old name with the new one in every instance.4

We have not been able to find any records suggesting reasons why Eddy changed the name. The updated By-Law first appeared in the 57th edition of the Manual (1906)—but the name change only found gradual acceptance. For example Alfred Farlow (the first Committee on Publication) didn’t make the change on his letterhead until early 1907. In fact we have found the old title “Publication Committee” used in the Christian Science periodicals as late as the 1940s.

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  1. L00737.
  2. Jessie Chamberlain to Mary Baker Eddy, 14 March 1899, L13495.
  3. Eddy, 9 January 1900, L00762.
  4. Eddy to the Christian Science Board of Directors, 4 September 1906, L00929.