True to its mission, Longyear Museum collects and preserves documents, artifacts, photographs, and scrapbooks relating to the life and work of Mary Baker Eddy, her students and early followers, and to the history of the establishment of the Christian Science movement. For over seven decades, the historical evidence in this collection has served a range of audiences, from scholars doing in-depth research on the life of Mary Baker Eddy to visitors to the Museum exhibits and the reference area. This collection has proven its value many times for the education and enjoyment of audiences, and we are committed to preserving it now and for generations to come.
The Museum houses a still growing collection in a modern repository. Artifacts, documents, and photographs are professionally cared for in climate-controlled vaults. The collections staff strives to follow the highest standards of museum practice in the storage, care, and use of its collections. The materials in the collection provide a wealth of information for research, and a rich and diverse resource from which to produce exhibits, programs, and publications.
The Museum’s collection includes many “gems,” such as hundreds of original Mary Baker Eddy letters (many in her own handwriting), reminiscences, Baker family documents, and eight historic houses where Mrs. Eddy lived. Each of the houses offers a unique glimpse into an important period in Mrs. Eddy’s life and provides a setting for educating audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Longyear has a lengthy background in historic house stewardship. To ensure that the houses receive the best care, Longyear has assembled a staff team to care for the houses. In addition, a team of preservation experts, including a preservation architect, provide expert knowledge and consultation to the historic house team. The goal of this committed group is to preserve the authenticity of the houses in the light of materials analysis, historic photographs, and written documentation, and to ensure the structural integrity of each house.