We have strong holdings for research into the history of mathematics, including a copy of the first edition of Isaac Newton's Principia (1687).

The following collections are of particular interest:

  • Simson: some 850 printed books - mainly early mathematical and astronomical texts - of Robert Simson (1687-1768), Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow (1711-1761); supplemented by some of Simson's manuscript notebooks and letters
  • Eaton: 20th century papers relating to a projected biography of the late 18th-century mathematician, Colin MacLaurin; accompanied by a small collection of mainly 18th-century mathematical works
  • Old Library: includes mathematical text books as used in the University's teaching up to the end of the 18th century, and 19th century material from the old Mathematical Class Library
  • Murray: includes early books on accounting

Further relevant material is dispersed throughout other collections. To search across all our collections, by name or keyword, please use the rare books search (for printed material) and the manuscripts search (for unpublished material including notebooks, papers, photographs and drawings).

Book of the month articles relating to mathematics: