We begin at the Mathematics Department Library. When we enter we immediately notice the display about BG (Ret) Jack Polin who served as Head of the department from 1974 to 1985.

For our use, undoubtedly the most important work in this library is the

QA28 .B534 1991*Biographical dictionary of mathematicians : reference biographies from the Dictionary of scientific biography.*

Nota Bene:If you click on the call numbers in this document and then click on it again on the page which appears, you will get the full reference in the USMA library catalog.

This is useful because it contains biographical information about deceased mathematicians and also describes their work. This work in four volumes is a subset (only the mathematicians are chosen) of a work in the reference section of the main library:

Charles Coulston Gillispie, editor in chief. REF Q141 .D5 1981.*Dictionary of scientific biography*,

For example in the article on J. J. Sylvester, we found the following secondary reference:

- R. C. Yates, "Sylvester at the University of Virginia,"
*American Mathematical Monthly*, 44 (1937), 194-201.

While in this section note the works around you. You will find some encyclopedias and dictionaries of mathematics. These are very handy when you encounter a word or theorem that you don't recognize. The standard histories of mathematics by Boyer (QA21 .B767) and Eves (QA21 .E8 1976) are also here, but not the best available survey book, that by Victor Katz (you can borrow a copy from Dr. Shell or Dr. Rickey). You will also find a number of biographies of mathematicians, including works about Banach (QA29.B33 K3513 1995), Erdos (QA29.E86 S34 1998), Gauss (QA29.G3 B83 1981), Hadamard (QA29.H18 M39 1998), Hilbert (QA29.H5 R4), Nash (QA29.N25 N37 1998), Ramanujan (QA29.R3 K36 1991), Robinson (QA29.R575 R45 1996), von Neumann (QA29.W497 A3), and Wiener (QA29.W497 A3).

There are a number of useful books in this section of the mathematics library, so let's point out a few:

**Vita mathematica : historical research and integration with teaching / Ronald Calinger, editor.**QA7 .V57 1996 . You might find this a good source of articles to read.**NCTM Yearbook on Multi-Sensory Aids in the Classroom**. QA1 .N3 . This is old enough to be a historical document in its own right.**Napier tercentenary memorial volume; ed. by Cargill Gilston Knott.**QA29.N2 K5 . If you are interested in the invention of logarithms this is a wonderful source.

However, you should be aware that not all books dealing with the history of mathematics are in this section. If the book deals with the a specific area of mathematics it is often (but not always) classified with that area of mathematics. For example,

**Analysis by its history / E. Hairer, G. Wanner.**QA300 .H352 1996 . This is a textbook in analysis that was written for German students. It is loaded with historical information.**West Point's Scientific 200 : celebration of the bicentennial, biographies of 200 of West Point's most successful and influential mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and technologists / by Chris Arney.**U410.M19 A76 2002 . A number of West Point mathematicians are detailed here, so take a look. This is a source of future projects, if you want to do a biographical study.

OK, now it is time to move over to the main library.

The first thing we shall do is look at

Charles Coulston Gillispie, editor in chief. REF Q141 .D5 1981.*Dictionary of scientific biography*,

Since we looked at the mathematical portion of this in the Mathematics Library we shall only point out that volume 16 contains some interesting articles of a general nature, such as one about Mayan mathematics. Also in the reference area there are a great number of works that can be of use.

**American women in science : a biographical dictionary / Martha J. Bailey.**Q141 .B25 1994 .

The history of mathematics section (QA 21) has a number of interesting books, including

**Oxford figures : 800 years of the mathematical sciences / edited by John Fauvel, Raymond Flood and Robin Wilson.**QA14.G73 O947 2000**Journey through genius : the great theorems of mathematics / William Dunham.**QA21 .D78 1991**Mathematical people : profiles and interviews / editors Donald J. Albers and G.L. Alexanderson, introduction by Philip J. Davis.**QA28 .M37 1985 . This gem contains interviews with contemporary mathematicians. It's not history, but something all mathematics majors should look at.**The shaping of deduction in Greek mathematics : a study in cognitive history / Reviel Netz.**QA27.G8 N47 1999 . Professor Netz is THE current authority on Greek Mathematics. This is a tough but worthwhile read.**The crest of the peacock : the non-European roots of mathematics / George Gheverghese Joseph.**QA22 .J67 2000 . A nice book about non-Western mathematics. Quite readable.**Mathematical thought from ancient to modern times / Morris Kline.**QA21 .K516 . This is where I go when I want to learn the history of an area of mathematics when I don't know the mathematics well.

Again, not everything is in one place. Let's note a few things that are not in the history section:

**Never at rest : a biography of Isaac Newton / Richard S. Westfall.**QC16.N7 W35 . The best biography of Newton.**Philosophers at war : the quarrel between Newton and Leibniz / A. Rupert Hall.**QA303 .H16 . Deals only with the non-mathematical part of the feud. An excellent work.**Mathematical circles squared; a third collection of mathematical stories and anecdotes / Howard W. Eves.**QA99 .E842 . These books are gems. They are collections of anecdotes.**The history of non-euclidean geometry : evolution of the concept of a geometric space / B.A. Rosenfeld.**QA685 .R6713 1988 . An excellent book about Non-Euclidean Geometry.**The mathematical papers of Isaac Newton, edited by D. T. Whiteside with the assistance in publication of M. A. Hoskin.**QA35 .N5647 . These 8 volumes represent the absolute best set of a scientist's collected works that have ever been published. Take a look.**Galileo, man of science. Edited by Ernan McMullin.**QB36.G2 G62 . Nothing about Galileo is in the mathematics section. The conference on which this book was based was my introduction to the history of science.

Now let's move into the other room (of the basement stacks) and look at a couple of journals. These are arranged alphabetically so there are no call numbers.

**Historia mathematica.**A superb journal on the history of mathematics. The articles are in a variety of languages, but mostly English. A good place to look for articles to read for one of your projects.**Isis; an international review devoted to the history of science and its cultural influences microform.**The best general journal in the history of science. Not too much mathematics here, but you can read what is here. Excellent book reviews.**Mathematics magazine.**An excellent place to look for articles to read. Pick from the list that have won Allendorfer Awards for excellent exposition.**The American mathematical monthly.**Some of these have won the Chauvenet Prize so choose among them.

Finally we must make one more stop, the Indexes and Databases that are available on line.

- MathSciNet is the one I use most often but it is very high level. This is a comprehensive review of the World's mathematical literature since 1940 (why that date?). Currently it surveys 1700 serials. Today about 50,000 papers are reviewed each year, and this includes only those which contain original research. Thus although you are mostly unaware of it, a great amount of mathematics is published each year. If you search section 01 you will find the history papers.
- JSTOR, which stands for Journal STORage contains the full
text of many journals. If you are looking for an article from
The American Mathematical Monthly, Mathematics Magazine, or The
College Mathematics Journal, it is easier to print out a copy
from this database than to go to the library. A number of
History of Science Journals are also here, including
*Isis*. - There are many more data bases available to us, but which one you use depends on what you want to find. The only one you can't use from your desk is World Cat which links together libraries from around the country and has about 30 million entries.

Hopefully this introduction to the historical materials in the USMA library will be useful to you.

Later we will take a look at some of the rare books in the collection. But before we do that you need to tell me about your special interests.

Prepared by V. Frederick Rickey, 22 January 2003.