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A Bibliography of Collected Works and Correspondence of Mathematicians

Steven W. Rockey

About the Bibliography:

This bibliography has been developed over many years of work as the Mathematics Librarian at Cornell University. In the early 1970's I became interested in enhancing our library's selection of collected works. I had hoped to find a list of collected works, but the lists I found did not even have all the titles we held. As I tried to comprehensively acquire all the collected works of mathematicians that I could identify, I built up a file of all the titles we held and a desiderata file for titles that were out of print. In 1991 the file actually became a printed bibliography that was distributed for free. The building of the bibliography has progressed in a serpentine and serendipitous fashion. As I peruse catalogs, bibliographies, histories and biographies when I encounter a title I add it to the file. I also make systematic searches of various union catalogs and national bibliographic databases by appropriate subjects, titles and authors. The RLIN database and MathSciNet have been most useful in verifying the existence and exact citation for titles not held at Cornell. The article by S. D. Chatterji "On the publication of collected or selected works" on pages 183-195 in Jahrbuch Uberblicke Mathematik 1985 is an excellent reference which explains the value of collected works for mathematics and points out the lack of a comprehensive bibliography.

In 1997 I began to work with Albert Lewis who was preparing a revised and expanded electronic version of J.W. Dauben's book, "The History of Mathematics from Antiquity to the Present: A Selective Bibliography" that was published by the American Mathematical Society in 2000. He invited me to contribute my bibliography of collected works for Section II: Source Materials; Collected Papers and Correspondence of the updated Dauben bibliography. In the course of preparing and updating my bibliography I expanded the scope to include mathematician's correspondence to parallel the original scope of Dauben's section that listed collected works.

Over the years a number of individuals have provided a wide range of invaluable suggestions for additions and corrections to this bibliography. Some people have provided single bits of information and others have had more extensive input. The result you see here is more complete and accurate because of their gracious help. Comments and suggestions for additions or enhancements are greatly appreciated.

Through the nineteenth century only a relatively small group of people made almost all of the important advances in mathematics, and collected works volumes exist for most of them. By the twentieth century more people were producing mathematics and the number of collected works proliferated. Collected works allow the researcher, historian or librarian to have much of the important literature available in a convenient and compact form. Sometimes collected works are the only way to find articles which were originally published in titles that are scarcely held even in the most comprehensive libraries. Collected works are often very useful in deciphering obscure citations. The best collected works may also include unpublished papers, correspondence, commentaries, translations, biographies, bibliographies, etc. that are unavailable anywhere else.

The decision whether or not to include a particular author in this bibliography has sometimes been difficult. I have tried to make the distinction based on the mathematical contents of the title listed rather than on an arbitrary label of the authors profession (astronomer, physicist, etc.). I have generally taken a broad view of mathematics, including statistics and applied mathematics. In some cases, titles that appeared by bibliographic description to be collected works upon examination turned out to be biographies, bibliographies, festschrifts, conference proceeding or some other sort of collection. In other cases the bibliographic description gave no clue, and only an in-hand examination revealed the title to be the authors collected works or correspondence.

The scope includes the collected works and correspondence of mathematicians that were published as monographs and made available for sale. It does not include binders collections, reprint collections or manuscript collections that were put together by individuals, departments or libraries. While I have generally tried to include all editions, the distinction between a printing and an edition can be tenuous. In some cases I have included a title that has an author's mathematical works but have not included another title that may have their complete works. Conversely, if I believed that a complete works title contained significant mathematics among other subjects I have included it.

This bibliography first appeared on the Math Library Web Page in May of 1996. A major upgrade with numerous additions, corrections and took place in November 2000. Difficulty in updating the Web version kept it essentially static until December 2006 when the revised and expanded version you see here was put up. New technology has made updating much simpler and it will now be actively maintained and updated.


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