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Mathematical Treasure: Cambridge Miscellany of Mathematics

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

The Cambridge Miscellany of Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy, begun by Benjamin Peirce (1809-1880), Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, represented a fledgling effort to establish a journal of mathematics research in the United States, one that approximated those that existed in Europe at that time. Peirce was the first American mathematician internationally recognized for his research. The first issue of the Miscellany appeared in 1842; subsequent issues of this journal were coedited by Joseph Lovering (1813-1892), a doctoral student of Peirce who would later also teach mathematics at Harvard. The journal only survived four issues, the last being in January of 1843. For a detailed discussion of the Miscellany and other early American mathematical journals, see the following article by Deborah Kent.


Deborah Kent, “The Mathematical Miscellany and The Cambridge Miscellany of Mathematics: Closely connected attempts to introduce research-level mathematics in America, 1836-1843,” Historia Mathematica 35 (2008), pp. 102-122.

The images above were obtained through the cooperation of The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Cambridge Miscellany of Mathematics," Convergence (January 2016)