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Euclid and History of Mathematics
University of Waterloo, Library

Geometry--Early works to 1800; Mathematics, Greek; Mathematics--Problems, exercises, etc.; Euclid

The collection was established in the early 1960s. The collection was begun by the university's first Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. R. Stanton, and the first Chief Librarian, Mrs. D. Lewis. A collection of 110 nineteenth century mathematics books was acquired in 1981.

The collection is particularly strong in showing the transmission and teaching of Euclid's Elements of Geometry from almost the earliest printed form to modern texts. The collection contains forty-five editions of Euclid's Elements of Geometry from 1505-1904, including the first translation into a modern language (1543); the first English edition (1570); the Byrne edition using coloured printing (Pickering, 1847); and the first edition printed in France (1516). Unique methods of teaching geometry are represented, including moveable stand-up diagrams from the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries and the use of colours rather than letters to describe theorems in the Pickering Euclid of 1847. Major editions of the Elements are still collected when available.


250 monographs; one manuscript volume from the eighteenth century which appears to be a transcription of one of Simson's editions.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is catalogued in the general library catalogue. Uncatalogued materials are accessible by author/title in the library's automated acquisition system. LC and NLC subject headings are used. The material is arranged according to Rare Bookshelf numbers. LC classification is used as an alternative number for some items. The holdings are recorded in the University of Waterloo Union Catalogue, the National Library Union Catalogue, and ESTC (where appropriate). Special bibliographies include an annotated copy of Thomas-Stanford's Early editions of Euclid's Elements.

Physical Access
The collection is in the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room which is open to the public with identification. Additional hours are provided with prior appointment. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: Only to libraries on IUTS, and as the condition of the material warrants. The material must be used in a rarebook room.

Reprography: As the condition of the material warrants.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
None at present.