Collection of material relating to Christian Science

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of material gathered together by Mrs. Stella Hadden Alexander who had received the degree of CSB from the Christian Science College in Boston, 1906. She had been a student of Augusta E. Stetson (d. 1928) herself a student of Mary Baker Eddy. The material is composed of: newspaper articles on Mary Baker Eddy, Augusta E. Stetson, and on Christian Science; printed items on the church; off-prints and journals including copies of Christian Science quarterly for May 1926, and February 1927; and, miscellaneous flyers, pamphlets and other ephemera.

Administrative / Biographical History

Christian Science was founded in 1879 in the USA by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910). Chronic ill-health led her to the charismatic healer Phineas P. Quimby. His suggestive therapeutics led her to believe in the mental nature of her illness. In 1866 she recovered from the effects of an accident while reading about the healings of Jesus in the New Testament. This prompted a period in her life of intense scriptural study and writing, and in 1870 she began teaching and attracting a following in Massachussetts. In 1875 she published Science and health which became the textbook for the study and practice of Christian Science. In 1879, she and a group of followers founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, and she instructed at the Massachussetts Metaphysical College chartered by her in 1881. By the end of the 1880s some one hundred congregations had been formed, mostly in the Atlantic states and the Midwest. By 1910 there were more than 1,200. The government of the church was set down in Eddy's Manual of the mother church in 1895. Christian Science is widely known for its international daily newspaper published in Boston, The Christian Science Monitor.

Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Presented to Edinburgh University Library by Mrs. Stella Hadden Alexander, and transferred from shelfmark Att. 20.38, May 1997, Accession no. E97.32.

Note

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) The new encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th edition. Vol.3. Micropaedia. Ready Reference. pp.278-280. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 1991.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Accruals

Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.