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Eugene Strens Recreational Mathematics Collection
University of Calgary, Library

Mathematical recreations; Puzzles; Games; Amusements

The collection was established in 1983. It was acquired from the family of the late Eugene Strens. Eugene Strens was an engineer, amateur mathematician, and a friend of the mathematical artist Maurits Escher. Strens lived in Breda (Netherlands) and collected over two thousand items mostly books but also newspaper clippings, periodical issues, and manuscripts. The collection is being developed by donations from authors and other collectors, and by purchase.

The aim of the collection is to be as comprehensive as possible in the areas of intuitive and recreational mathematics. All periods and all geographic areas are included although the emphasis of the material is on the Western world. Journals are included and there are clippings of columns from early journals. Rare books and manuscripts are present. The collection can be used by non-specialists but is primarily aimed at specialists.


5,000 monographs and serials; about 28 linear metres of mathematics archives.

Bibliographic Access
The book collection has been listed and indexed in an InMagic® database. The collection is available on the MathSci database, and the serials are listed in the online Catalogue.

Physical Access
The collection is in the Special Collections Division which is open to the public. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: No.

Reprography: Yes.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
University of Calgary. Libraries. -- The Eugene Strens Recreational Mathematics Collection: a preliminary inventory. -- Calgary : University of Calgary Libraries, 1986. [out of print]