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Mathematical Treasure: First Scandinavian Mathematics Journal

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Archiv for Mathematik og Naturvidenskab was the first Scandinavian journal of mathematics and science. Inaugurated in 1876 in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway, it provided a forum for the mathematicians and scientists of the region. Prominent among these researchers was the Norwegian mathematician Marius Sophus Lie (1842-1899). Lie was noted for his work on continuous groups of transformations, now known as “Lie algebras.” Due to the influence of Felix Klein (1849-1925) and his Erlangen Program, transformation groups and their applications, particularly in geometry, were considered important at this time. Although Lie and Klein were often at odds, Lie’s work supported Klein’s theories. Lie eventually replaced Klein as Professor of Mathematics at Leipzig University in 1886. The first issue of the journal Archiv for Mathematik og Naturvidenskab is now examined.

The “Table of Contents” provides a listing of the first contributions to the journal. Note that Sopus Lie contributed four papers.

The first two pages of Lie’s “Theorie der Transformations-Gruppen”:

Theses images were obtained through the courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library and were digitized by the University of California Libraries. The complete work can be viewed at

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: First Scandinavian Mathematics Journal," Convergence (July 2016)