You are here

The Educational Times Database: Conclusion – Reflections on Opening Up the Contents of the ET/MQ

Robert M. Manzo (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

For the researcher with sufficient time and finances, the contents of the ET/MQ have long been available to view at several of the world’s largest libraries, including the University of Toronto Library, Cornell University Library, the University of Göttingen Library, Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and the British Library, among others. Some of these institutions have even digitized select volumes of the ET and MQ, at times with the assistance of the Google Books digitization project. The unique contribution of the ET database is to offer a near-comprehensive index of the ET/MQ problems and solutions, as well as to collate in one central place (in the database’s “References” section) hyperlinks to digitized versions of most ET and MQ volumes. (As an aside, we wish to note here that the current ET database has not yet been updated to include a hyperlink to University College London’s (UCL) new digital archive of the full run of the ET, available at; the UCL archive is invaluable and we highly recommend that scholars make use of it.) Thus, while the ET database has its own distinct value as a tool for historians of mathematics, it also situates itself within a broader constellation of ET/MQ resources developed by a number of diligent scholars and institutions. Reflecting on the history of the ET/MQ and the database’s long development, it is fair to say that Raymond Clare Archibald was the crucial link between the journal’s life and afterlife. Archibald was an eminent contributor to the ET in the early twentieth century, and decades after the journal went out of print he initiated the indexing project. Later, fellow Rhode Island scholar Jim Tattersall’s passion for mathematics history and the ET led him to take up Archibald’s unfinished work, and finally he and Sloan Despeaux brought the project into the twenty-first century as a digital database. The creation of a database was never a foregone conclusion but was historically contingent, the result of Tattersall discovering a few boxes on a library shelf and of Despeaux developing a collegial relationship with a like-minded historian of mathematics. The team that worked on the ET database project, including Tattersall, Despeaux, Holliday, Brown, Schmidt, Filanowski, Tupone, and Manzo, hope that it is useful to mathematics scholars and look forward to seeing future research that utilizes the database.

Robert M. Manzo (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), "The Educational Times Database: Conclusion – Reflections on Opening Up the Contents of the ET/MQ," Convergence (March 2021)