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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2800

P. P. Quimby manuscript transcripts and other papers


Manuscript transcripts, in various hands, of the writings of American mental healer, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby.


  • 1880-1951

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Material was formerly restricted; restriction lifted in 1996.


1 linear feet (2 boxes)

Collection includes manuscript transcripts of selections from Quimby's original writings. These notebook transcripts concerning Quimby's works were possibly copied by Emma G. Ware, Sarah Ware, George A. Quimby (his son), and others. The dates of Quimby's work in transcript form are from 1859-1865. Also includes various printed related material.

Biographical / Historical

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866) was a New England mesmerist, teacher, and mental healer who lived in Belfast, Maine. He developed an original healing philosophy related to mesmerism and Swedenborgianism which essentially was "a belief system that included the tenet that illness originated in the mind as a consequence of erroneous beliefs and that a mind open to God's wisdom could overcome any illness." Upon his death Quimby left behind only loosely organized and unpublished manuscripts which were later publicized by his patient-disciples, especially Annetta Seabury Dresser, Julius Dresser, and Warren Felt Evans, who developed Quimby's teachings into the New Thought or Mind Cure philosophy. A fourth disciple, Mary Baker Eddy, transformed her interpretation of the Quimby manuscripts into the basis for the Church of Christ, Scientist. Quimby is thought by some to have been the first secular psychotherapist to practice in the United States. Source: Robert C. Fuller. "Quimby, Phineas Parkhurst", American National Biography Online, Feb. 2000.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Manuscript transcripts of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby writings
  2. II. Other papers

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

57M-38. Gift of Malcolm Dresser and Dorothea Dresser Reeves; received: 1957 October 1.

Donors are the children of Horatio Willis Dresser, who was the son of Julius and Annetta Seabury Dresser, disciples of Quimby.

Related Materials

Quimby manuscripts are also held by the Manuscript Collection of the Library of Congress and Special Collections at Boston University.

Separated Materials

Two books were removed to Houghton's printed book collection:

  1. Annetta Gertrude Dresser. The philosophy of P. P. Quimby, with selections from his manuscripts and a sketch of his life. Boston: G. H. Ellis, 1895.
  2. P. P. (Phineas Parkhurst) Quimby. The Quimby manuscripts, showing the discovery of spiritual healing and the origin of Christian science, ed. by Horatio W. Dresser. New York: T. Y. Crowell company, 1921.


See the The Quimby manuscripts, showing the discovery of spiritual healing and the origin of Christian science, ed. by Horatio W. Dresser; page 17, for additional information on Quimby transcripts.
See also Houghton curatorial file for note from past scholars using collection.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Quimby, P. P. (Phineas Parkhurst), 1802-1866. P. P. Quimby manuscript transcripts and other papers, ca. 1880-1951: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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