Books on history of mathematics, science and technology

History Books – page 81


David Singmaster

87 Rodenhurst Road, London, SW4 8AF, UK

Tel/fax: 020-8674 3676; email: ZINGMASTYLE="@ LSBU.AC.UK

Last updated on 20 September 2013.


Introduction 1

Anonymous Items 1

Authors 2

Series 82

Periodicals 89

Old Books 90

Index 91

End 105


I started this in 1999 in order to record books received. I have extracted relevant books from other lists, from lists of references in my papers and from Sections 1-3 of my Sources. I have added the books that I already have and have now worked through almost all the relevant shelves.

This list includes historical books by historical authors (e.g. Archimedes, Newton) as well as histories, biographies and bibliographies. It also includes works on the philosophy of mathematics and science. I am also tending to include scientific reference works and some popular science, etc. Biographies are entered under the author's name and cross referenced from the subject(s). This includes studies of an author's work which may contain no biographical information.

This scope of this list has considerable overlap with my catalogue of Books on Recreational and Popular Mathematics (referred to as Recreational Books). When I started this list, I extracted about 11 pages of items of relevance from Recreational Books, but many items are listed there which have not been been brought over here in order to minimise the overlap. Many additional books have been entered on both lists. Items relating to the history of recreational topics are generally only in Recreational Books, e.g. on Cards; Chess; Cryptography; Fractals; Games; Humour; Impossible Problems; Magic; Magic Squares; Mathematics for the General Reader; Optical Devices; Optical Illusions; Physics and General Science; etc.; even though the material may be ancient. However, material on Cranks; Errors, Fallacies, and Paradoxes; Hoaxes, Frauds, Swindles, Cheats, Deceptions, etc.; may be repeated here (and probably in Information Books) if the material is of general scientific interest. I have repeated most bibliographical items here, though material on children's books is generally just in Recreational Books. I am including popular science here if it is not sufficiently recreational or mathematical to be in Recreational Books. Most works on Number Systems tend to be placed in both lists.

I have inserted most of the items in the Supplement on Old Books in Recreational Books into this list, omitting a few 20C items, but I will continue to maintain that Supplement as it is of use.

Guide books are in my catalogue of Guide Books, unless they are specifically on science. Guides to science museums, etc. will tend to be listed in both lists.

I have a list of Information and Quiz Books which includes material on Loos, Origins, Inventions, Cranks, Parapsychology, answers to general scientific questions, etc. and a section on Medicine. This also includes much of the material on Cranks; Errors, Fallacies and Paradoxes; Hoaxes, Frauds, Swindles, Cheats, Deceptions, etc. I have only brought a few of these over to this list, but I have brought over the section on Medicine, while retaining it as a separate section in that list.

Many anonymous items are produced by organizations and listed with the organization as author.

On 24 Mar 2000 and 17 Nov 2000, I bought some books at the Christie's and Sotheby's sales of part of the Turner Collection. I later bought a few more items from dealers who had bought lots at these sales and from Simon Finch. Turner xxx indicates such a book, with xxx being the shelf mark. All these have a bookplate saying: Turner Collection The Library University of Keele Presented by C. W. Turner 1968. Cf Christie's, S. Hill, Sotheby's.

Not all these books are shelved in History Books. Quite a number are shelved in the appropriate subject areas or in the Old Books shelves.


Anonymous. The Bakhshālī (or Bakhshali) Manuscript – see: Hayashi; G. R. Kaye.

Anonymous. 'Das Bamberger Blockbuch'. German, block printed, Inc. typ. IC I44 der Staatsbibliothek Bamberg. Facsimile with transcription and annotation by Kurt Vogel as: Das Bamberger Blockbuch Inc. typ. IC I44 der Staatsbibliothek Bamberg Ein xylographisches Rechenbuch aus dem 15.Jahrhundert. Veröffentlichen des Forschungsinstituts des Deutschen Museums für die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik. K. G. Saur Verlag, München, 1980, HB. [This gives a date range of 1471-1482.]

Anonymous. Bilancio in Mostra: Dall Collezione al Museo. Bilance, Stadere, Pesi della Raccolta Ortolani. Catalogue for an exhibition at Palazzo Mazzi-Alberti, Monterchi, Oct 1996 - Dec 2000 [but still on when I visited in Sep 2001]. Large card, folded to 8pp, describing the history of weights and scales, with 2pp insert listing the exhibits.

Anonymous. Tycho Brahe's Tombstone. No details, A3 poster, bought in Prague, 2001.

Anonymous. [Ein Byzantinisches Rechenbuch]. Greek MS, c1305, Codex Par. Suppl. Gr. 387, fol. 118v 140v. Transcribed, translated and annotated by Kurt Vogel as: Ein Byzantinisches Rechenbuch des frühen 14.Jahrhunderts; Wiener Byzantinistische Studien, Band VI; Hermann Böhlaus Nachf., Wien, 1968.

Anonymous. Chiu Chang Suan Shu – Neun Bücher arithmetischer Technik. c 150. Translated and annotated into German by Kurt Vogel. Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1968. SEE ALSO: Swetz & Kao.

Anonymous. Chou pi suan ching [= Zhou bi suan jing = Chou pei suan jing] – see: C. Cullen.

Anonymous. The Clerk Maxwell Route. One page with no details, sent by Hartwick.

Anonymous. 'The Columbia Algorism' (Columbia X511 A13). Edited by Kurt Vogel as: Ein italienisches Rechenbuch aus dem 14.Jahrhundert. Veroffentlichungen des Forschungsinstituts des Deutschen Museums für die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik. Reihe C – Quellentexte und Übersetzungen, Nr. 33, 1977.

Anonymous. The Computer That Changed the World. CD. Europress for University of Manchester. Present from Hilary Kahn.

Anonymous. The Fundamental Operations in Bead Arithmetic. How to Use the Chinese Abacus. No details except Printed in Hong Kong. From the Will Ayling sale, 1993. BLC-Ø.

Anonymous. Great Inventors: the Sources of their Usefulness and the Results of their Efforts. Ward, lock & Bowden, Limited, London, nd [c1850?].

Anonymous. The Greek Anthology. Translated by W. R. Paton. Loeb Classical Library, (1918), 6th ptg, 1979, vol. V only, HB. The Arithmetical material in Book XIV is attributed to Metrodorus, c510.


Anonymous. The History of Science Origins and Results of the Scientific Revolution A Symposium. [Originally a series of Broadcast Talks to Sixth Forms in 1949-1950, repeated on BBC Radio 3.) Cohen & West, London, 1951, HB.

Anonymous. Hutchinson Pocket Dictionary of Science. Helicon Publishing, Oxford, 1993.

Anonymous. The I Ching – The Book of Changes. Translated by James Legge. (The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XVI: The Texts of Confucianism, Part II; OUP, 2nd ed., 1899); Dover, 1963.

Anonymous. Larte de labbacho. (Treviso, 1478.) (There is no actual title. In English, this has been generally titled: The Treviso Arithmetic. The modern facsimile has taken its title from the end of the opening sentence. The commentary calls it: L'Arte dell'Abbacho.) Facsimile edition, from the copy at the Diocese of Treviso, with commentary booklet by Giuliano Romano, (Editore Zoppelli, sponsored by Cassa di Risparmio della Marca Trevigian, Treviso, 1969); updated ed., Libreria Canova, CalMaggiore 31, Treviso (tel: 0422-546253), 1995 [Swetz, p. 324, cites the 1969 ed.] See: /cultu/abbacho/abbacen.htm for a description of the book and how to order it. (Swetz, below, is basically David Eugene Smith's translation of this, with extensive introduction and annotation by Swetz.) The text nowhere gives a publisher's name. Smith, Rara, pp. 3-7, says it was probably published by Manzolo or Manzolino, while Swetz, p. 26, specifies Michael Manzolo or Manazolus. Romano says it was published by Gerardus de Lisa. There was a copy in the Honeyman Collection, with title Arte dell'Abbaco and publisher [Gerardus de Lisa], who is described as the prototypographer at Treviso from 1471. The entry says only ten copies are known – the web page says nine. A print out of the website is inserted.

Anonymous (Scuola Lucchese). Libro d'abaco, dal Codice 1754 (Sec. XIV) della Biblioteca Statale di Lucca. c1390. Edited by Gino Arrighi. Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, Lucca, 1973.

Anonymous. Libro di conti e mercatanzie. From Ms. Pal. 312, Biblioteca Palatina di Parma, 15C. Ed. by Silvano Gregori & Lucia Grugnetti. Univ. degli Studi di Parma, Fac. di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali, Dip. di Matematica, Parma, 1998. Present from Raffaella Franci.

Anonymous [L. C. et F. P. B.]. Nouveau Traité d'Arithmétique Décimale. Contenant toutes les opérations ordinaires du calcul, les fractions, l'extraction des racines avec divers problémes [sic] sur le titre des monnaies, les changes, les principes pour mesurer les surfaces et la solidité des corps, etc, Enrichi de 1243 Problèmes a Résoudre pour Servir d'Exercices aux Élèves [sic]. Mis dans un nouvel ordre. Par L. C. et F. P. B. Imprimerie Typogr. Lith. et Autographique de Michel Vinck, Anvers (Antwerp), 1838, HB.

Anonymous. Mathematical Science. John Cassell's Educational Course. No preliminary material, but the style is identical, so W. Kent and Co., London, nd [c1856; BLC-Ø]. The gathering numbers are not consecutive, but the volumes are bound together in a binding of the time and both names are on the spine. HB.

Anonymous. Roderick Impey Murchison / Adam Sedgwick. 2 sides of an A4 handout with no details, possibly from the Geological Society as it is describing paintings.

Anonymous. Printing and the Mind of Man. Catalogue of the Exhibitions at The British Museum and at Earl's Court, London, 16-27 July 1963. Organized in connexion with the Eleventh International Printing Machinery and Allied Trades Exhibition. Display of Printing Mechanisms and Printed Materials arranged to illustrate The History of Western Civilization and the means of The Multiplication of Literary Texts since the XV century ... under the title of Printing and the Mind of Man. Published by Messrs F. W. Bridges & Sons Ltd and the Association of British Manufacturers of Printers' Machinery (Proprietary) Ltd, 1963. This catalogue has two parts: Description of the exhibition at Earl's Court, items 1 - 656a, 128pp + 32pp of plates; followed by Catalogue of: An Exhibition of Fine Printing in the King's Library of the British Museum, July-September 1963, published by the Trustees of the British Museum, 1963, 194 items on 64pp + 16pp of plates.

The second part was also printed separately and I have a copy of it.

[There was a more elaborate catalogue of the printed books, edited by J. Carter & P. Muir, 1967, 2nd ed., 1983, qv.]

Anonymous. Review: Professor De Morgan. Knowledge 2 (1 Dec 1882) 435-436. Review of S. E. De Morgan, inserted in the book.

Anonymous. The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. c-1650. See: Chace; Robins & Shute;

Anonymous. St. Peter's Church, Stoke Fleming. Nd [c1995, bought in 1997], 1p. FILED UNDER Bidder.

Anonymous. The Story of St Petrox Church Dartmouth. Compiled from various sources. Nd [c1995, bought in 1997], 8pp + covers. FILED UNDER Bidder.

Anonymous. The Sūrya-Siddhānta with the commentary of Paramesvara. Edited by Kripa Shankar Shukla. Hindu Astronomical and Mathematical Texts Series No. 1. Dept. of Mathematics and Astronomy, Lucknow University, 1957, HB.

Anonymous. The Treviso Arithmetic – see: Larte de labbacho.

Anonymous. Three Bologna Manuscripts. See: Uri.

Anonymous. A Visit to The British Museum: containing a Familiar Description of Every Object of Interest in the Various Departments of That Establishment – With Numerous Illustrations. C&H, 1838, HB.

Anonymous. Zhou bi suan jing [= Chou pi suan ching = Chou pei suan jing] – see: C. Cullen.


Aaboe, Asger. Episodes from the Early History of Mathematics. NML 13, 1964.

dell'Abbaco – see: Dell'Abbaco.

Abbott, David, ed. The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists:

Astronomers. Blond Educational (Muller), 1984, HB.

Biologists. (Muller, Blond & White, London, 1983); Peter Bedrick Books, NY, 1984, HB.

Chemists. Blond Educational (Muller), 1983, HB.

Engineers and Inventors. Blond Educational (Muller), 1985, HB.

Mathematicians. (Muller, Blond & White, London, 1985?); Peter Bedrick Books, NY, 1985, HB.

Physicists. Blond Educational (Muller), 1984, HB.

Abel, Niels Henrik (1802-1829) – see: Ore.

Abenbeder. Compendio de Álgebra de Abenbéder. Texto árabe, traducción y estudio por José A. Sánchez Pérez. Centro de Estudios Históricos, Madrid, 1916. Sir Norman Lockyer's copy with his name stamp: J. Norman Lockyer, K.C.B., F.R.S.

Abraham bar Hiyya [ha-Nasi] (= Abraham bar Hiyya [the H should have a dot under it] = Abraham bar Chiyya = Abraam bar Hiia = Abraham Judaeus = Savasorda) (fl. <1136). Llibre de Geometria Hibbur hameixihà uehatixbòret. (As: Hibbūr ha-meshīhah [the first and the second h should have dots under them] we-ha-tishboret (in Hebrew), translated as Liber Embadorum by Plato of Tivoli in 1145.) Translated into Catalan by J. Millàs i Vallicrosa, from a Hebrew text edited by Miquel Guttmann. Editorial Alpha, Barcelona, 1931, HB. [Though a book on practical geometry, it was the first European exposition of Arabic algebra, including the first complete solution of the quadratic equation seen in Europe [DSB].]

Abu Kamil [Abū Kāmil Shujā‘ ibn Aslam ibn Muhammad [The h should have a dot under it.] ibn Shujā‘, al-Hāsib al-Misrī]. The Algebra of Abū Kāmil Kitāb fī al-jābr wa’l-muqābala In a Commentary by Mordecai Finzi. Transcribed, translated and annotated by Martin Levey. Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1966, HB.

Ackermann, Alfred S. E. Scientific Paradoxes and Problems and Their Solutions. The Old Westminster Press, London, 1925.

ACM & IEEE Computer Society (Joint Committee of). A Library List on Undergraduate Computer Science Computer Engineering and Information Systems. ACM & IEEE, 1978.

Aczel, Amir D. Fermat's Last Theorem Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem. (Four Walls Eight Windows, USA, 1996; Viking, London, 1997;) Penguin, 1997.

Adams, Daniel (1773-1864).

ADAMS NEW ARITHMETIC. Arithmetic, in which the principles of operating by numbers are analytically explained, and synthetically applied; thus combining the advantages to be derived both from the inductive and synthetic mode of instructing: The whole made familiar by a great variety of useful and interesting examples, calculated at once to engage the pupil in the study, and to give him a full knowledge of figures in their application to all the practical purposes of life. Designed for the use of schools and academies in the United States. J. Prentiss, Keene, New Hampshire, 1836, boarded. 1-262 pp + 2pp publisher's ads, apparently inserted backward.

The Scholar's Arithmetic; or, Federal Accountant: Containing. I. Common arithmetic, .... II. Examples and Answers with Blank Spaces, .... III. To each Rule, a Supplement, comprehending, 1. Questions .... 2. Exercises. IV. Federal Money, .... V. Interest cast in Federal Money, .... VI. Demonstration by engravings .... VII. Forms of Notes, .... The Whole in a Form and Method altogether New, for the Ease of the Master and the greater Progress of the Scholar. Stereotype Edition, Revised and Corrected, with additions. John Prentiss, Keene, New Hampshire, 1825, HB. [Halwas 8-14 says this is ©1801, 1st ed by Adams & Wilder, Leominster, Massachusetts, 1801; 2nd ed, 1802. 3rd ed ??. 4th ed, by Prentiss, 1807; 6th ed, 1810; 10th ed, 1816; Stereotype Edition, Revised and Corrected, with Additions, 1819, 1820, 1824.]

Adams, John & Elkin, Paul. Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Jarrold, Norwich, 1988.

Adams, John Couch (1819-1892) – see: MacFarlane;

Adamson, Ian & Kennedy, Richard. Sinclair and the 'Sunrise' Technology The deconstruction of a myth. Penguin, 1986.

Adelard of Bath – see: Arberry; Dales;

Adelman, Ann, ed. The Robot Exhibit: History, Fantasy and Reality. At the American Craft Museum II, NY, Jan-Mar 1984. [The longest piece: History of Robots is by Robert Malone, the proposer and guest curator.]

ADLER, Irving.

The Giant Colour Book of Mathematics. Ill. by Lowell Hess. (Reissue of: Mathematics: The Story of Numbers, Symbols, and Space. As: The Giant Golden Book of Mathematics, Golden Press, NY, 1960.) Hamlyn, 1960, HB. [Reissued as: Learning with Colour, see below.]

Learning with Colour – Mathematics. (Originally: The Giant Colour Book of Mathematics.) Ill. by Lowell Hess. (Golden Press, NY, 1960?); Hamlyn, (1961), 4th ptg, 1968, HB.

Mathematics: The Story of Numbers, Symbols, and Space. Ill. by Lowell Hess. Golden Press, NY, (1958), 1961, HB. [Later reissued as: The Giant Golden Book of Mathematics, see above.]

Monkey Business: Hoaxes in the Name of Science. Ill. by Ruth Adler. (Day, 1957); Dobson, 1960, HB. [Later issued as: Stories of Hoaxes in the Name of Science, Collier, NY, 1962.]

Readings in Mathematics. Ginn, Lexington, Mass., 1972.

Aerophile S. A. Historique et technique des Grands Ballons Captifs / The history and technology of the Large Tethered Balloons. Aerophile S. A., Chantilly, nd [bought in 2000], 24pp incl. covers.

Agar, Jon. Turing and the Universal Machine The Making of the Modern Computer. Icon Books, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 2001.

Agassiz – see: H. & D. L. Thomas;

Agnesi, Maria Gaetana (1718-1799) – see: Osen;

AHRENS, Wilhelm Ernst Martin Georg (1872-1927).

Mathematiker-Anekdoten. Teubner, 2nd ed., 1920.

Scherz und Ernst in der Mathematik. (Teubner, 1904); Kuballe, Osnabruck, 1984, HB.

Ainsworth, G. & Yeats, J. A Treatise on the Elements of Algebra: for the use of Schools and Private Students. H. Ingram and Co., London, nd [preface dated Dec 1854], HB.

Airy, George Biddell (1801-1892).

Popular Astronomy: A Series of Lectures Delivered at Ipswich [delivered in 1847]. Macmillan, (5th ed, 1866); 9th ed, 1877, HB.

SEE ALSO: Crowther; MacFarlane;

Aked, Charles K. Electricity, Magnetism and Clocks. Reprinted from Antiquarian Horology (Dec 1971) 398-415, plus front sheet TP.

Albers, Donald J. & Alexanderson, Gerald L., eds.

Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews. (Birkhäuser, with MAA, 1985); Contemporary Books, Chicago, nd.

More Mathematical People. HBJ, 1990, HB.

Albers, Donald J.; Alexanderson, Gerald L. & Reid, Constance. International Mathematical Congresses – An Illustrated History 1893 1986. Revised ed., Springer Verlag, NY, 1987, HB. Reviewed by me in Math. Gaz. 72 (No. 460) (Jun 1988) 166-167.

Albert, Prince (1819 1861) – see: Crowther;

Alberti, Leon Battista (1404 1472).

Ludi Matematici. (Probably not published until 19C – see DSB.) Guanda Editore, Venice?, (1980); HTML version as: . PRINT OUT, 18pp + header page. [Contains 20 problems, dealing with measuring heights, distances, times, areas, etc.]

On Painting. Translated from De Pictura of 1435 by Cecil Grayson. With Introduction and Notes by Martin Kemp. Penguin Classics, Harmondsworth, 1991.

Alberts, Gerard, ed. Conference on the History of ALGOL 68. Historical Note AM-HN9301, Dept of Analysis, Algebra and Geometry, CWI report, Jan 1993.

al-Biruni, Abu‘l-Rayhan [= ’Abû-alraihân [The h should have a dot under it.] Muhammad ibn ’Ahmad [The h should have a dot under it.] Albêrûnî].

India. (c1030). Translated by Edward C. Sachau as: Al Beruni's India; 2 vols., (Trübner, London, 1888); abridged edition, ed. by Qeyamuddin Ahmad. National Book Trust, New Delhi, 1983.

SEE also: Said & Khan.

Alcuin (attrib.) (c732-804). Propositiones Alcuini doctoris Caroli Magni Imperatoris ad acuendos juvenes.

IN: B. Flacci Albini seu Alcuini, Abbatis et Caroli Magni Imperatoris Magistri. Opera Omnia: Operum pars octava: Opera dubia. Edited by D. Frobenius [Forster], (Ratisbon, 1777, Tomus secundus, volumen secundem, pp. 440 448); revised by J. P. Migne in: Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Patrologiae Latinae, Tomus 101, Paris, 1863, columns 1143 1160. PHOTOCOPY. FILED UNDER Alcuin in History books.

A different version, attributed to Bede, appears in: Venerabilis Bedae, Anglo Saxonis Presbyteri. Opera Omnia: Pars Prima, Sectio II – Dubia et Spuria: De Arithmeticus propositionibus. Tomus I, (Basel, 1563 and earlier editions); revised by J. P. Migne in: Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Patrologiae Latinae, Tomus 90, Paris, 1904, columns 667 672. PHOTOCOPY. [The Bede version has three extra problems, but omits about the second half of the answers.] FILED UNDER Alcuin in History books.

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