Scanning Projects 2014

In additon to the other activities listed in the Section Aims and Activities, the Trust has become increasingly active in the last two year in the scanning of archives of material of importance for the History of Mathematics, Science and Philosophy with a view to making these available to researchers on line.  This field of activity began in a significant way in 2010 when the distinguished Danish Mathematician, Professor Anders Kock, made available to the Trust for scanning his own vast set of contemporaneous seminar notes and lecture notes, which he has kept meticulously throughout a research and teaching career dating back to the mid 1960s.  Professor Kock also put the Trust in touch with several of his leading mathematical colleagues and collaborators and helped negotiate offers to permit the Trust to scan the archives and Nachlass of several of them.

Then in 2013 the Trust began an ongoing program for the scanning of its own archives of documentation, linked to the Recordings, in order both to put this material on line together with the recordings and to free up space so as to permit an eventual move  to smaller premises and thus reduce storage and conservation costs as well as other overheads.

As a result of the increasing experience gainedin the scanning of extensive paper archives, consisting of material in many different sizes and formats and often in a very fragile condition, the Trust was asked in August 2013 by The Mittag-Leffler Institute of Djursholm, Sweden, the leading Mathematical Research Institute of Scandinavia, to arrange for the digitization  of the Archives of Correspondence of its founder, Gostag Mittag-Leffler, the celebrated 19th Century Swedish Mathematician , founder of the journal Acta Mathematica.  These Archives, occupying some 64 document boxes and numbering approximately 33,000 pages, comprise extensive scientific correspondence between Mittag-Leffler and almost every significant mathematician active at any point in the period between 1873 and 1927. The digitized correspondence, which is meticulously catalogued, is in the hands of the archivist and librarian of the Mittag-Leffler Institute. the Trust has been advised by the Director of the Institute that it will be made available on line shortly, and the Trust has been given permission to carry a mirror site on its web page on which the entire corrsespondence will also be available.

In addition to the Mittag-Leffler archives, the Trust has aslo been involved in an initiative, currently under way, to scan the Archives of the late David Bohm, the dsitinguished American Physicist who was for many years professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College in the University of London. David Bohm’s Nachlass, including some 150 recordings of Talks Interviews and Discussions with him, has, since his death in 1992, been in the care of the Library of Birkbeck College, where it has been available for researchers to consuklt by appointment. Thanks to a generous offer of financial support from Dr Georg Wikman, a long standing friend and benefactor of the Trust, and an initiative by Professor Basil Hiley, the close colleague and collaborator of David Bohm for over 30 years, and his successor as Professor of Physics at Birkbeck, this material, amounting to 10,500 pages as well as the recordings already mentioned, should, in the coming months, be digitized. Wherever copyright permits, it will the be made available on line;

Further information about this and other scanning projects will be carried on this page – with links to the scanned material as soon as it is available.

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