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History of Mathematics

Guide to materials about the history and teaching of mathematics held by The Bancroft Library.


Theodore P. Hill collection of mathematical miscellany, approximately 1874-1899.

This collection of printed ephemera relating to early American mathematics books and publishing includes catalogs and flyers for Eaton and Bradbury's mathematical series and Greenleaf's new mathematical series, and announcements for examinations in plane trigonometry from the University of the State of New York.


Image of announcement of Greenleaf's New Mathematical Series

Announcement of Greenleaf's New Mathematical Series


Burnham's arithmetics, published by D. Appleton & Co., N. York, are now before the public : and to be had at the bookstores in the principal towns in the state. [Broadside]

pff Z232.A65 B87 1849


The multiplication table in rhyme: for young arithmeticians. ca. 1860 [Illustrated Chapbook]

New York : Kiggins & Kellogg, 123 & 125 William St.

pQA49.M85 1835

Manuscript Collections

Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich Papers

Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich (1711-1787) was an Italian mathematician and natural philosopher. His papers contain correspondence and scientific papers relating to astronomy, mathematics, mechanics, philosophy, theology, hydrography, and optics. Also included are biographical materials, notes on the work of other scientists, and diary fragments.

BANC MSS 72/238 z

Two pages from letter from Boscovich to his brother Bartolomeo (Versailles, 1760)

Image of two pages from letter from Boscovich to his brother Bartolomeo


Vaughan F. R. Jones Papers

Materials related to the professional career of Vaughan F .R. Jones (1952-2020), 1990 Field Medal winner and Professor of Mathematics at University of California Berkeley. The collection includes 

correspondence, biographical material, notes, course materials, work by others and materials related to his career at the University of Auckland.

BANC MSS 2001/81


Pierre Simon Laplace Papers

French astronomer and mathematician, Pierre Simon Laplace (1749-1827), was also a prominent public figure and served as Minister of Interior under Napoleon. His papers contain scientific papers; correspondence; political papers; and personal papers including the correspondence of Madame Laplace and the papers of his son, Charles-Émile Laplace, and his father, Pierre de Laplace of Beaumont-en-Auge.

BANC MSS 89/120 z


Jerzy Neyman Papers

Collection contains materials related to Neyman's (1894-1981) professional career as a mathematician and statistician. Includes correspondence, writings, conference and grant materials, financial records, reports, and materials related to his professional activities and his work at UC Berkeley.

BANC MSS 84/30 c


Julia Bowman Robinson Papers

Julia Bowman Robinson (1919-1985) professor of Mathematics at UC Berkeley was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. The collection contains professional correspondence, most notably with Soviet colleague, Yuri V. Matiyasevich, along with Robinson's articles and research materials concerning Hilbert's 10th problem.

BANC MSS 99/265 c


Stephen Smale Papers

Stephen Smale (1930-)  worked for over thirty years in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. Smale was awarded the Fields Medal in 1966 and the Wolf Prize in mathematics in 2007. His papers include materials relating to Smale's career in mathematics as well as to his involvement in the anti-war and free speech movements. Among the materials documenting Smale's academic career are correspondence, reprints and notes, lecture and seminar notes and materials, and clippings.

BANC MSS 99/373 c


Alfred Tarski Papers

Alfred Tarski (1901-1983) was professor of mathematics and logic at the University of California, Berkeley. Tarski worked on a variety of topics including model theory, metamathematics, and algebraic logic. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and Letters, and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. The collection consists mostly of materials relating to Tarski's tenure as a mathematician at UC Berkeley. Including biographical/bibliographical materials; correspondence; writings; writings by others that he annotated); teaching materials; grants and projects files; and materials relating to professional organizations and events.

BANC MSS 84/69 c


Unidentified mathematical text explaining the idea of arithmetic, the elementary principles of geometry, the principles of rectilinear trigonometry, tables of latitude for the major cities in France, a summary of gnomonics, and the method of calculating the meridian. Three folded leaves that precede the text contain astronomical and astrological diagrams and charts.