Mathematics Collection

I. Collection Description


To support the teaching and research in the Department of Mathematics. The collection also supports mathematical research throughout the campus. Recently, the collection has begun to support the resource-sharing activities of the national Mathematics Document Delivery Center.

History of Collection:

In 1870, the University Library contained 68 books of a mathematical and astronomical nature. In 1906, the Mathematics Departmental Library was opened in the Natural History Building; a complete set of Crelle's Journal was the first major addition to the library. The early years saw the purchase of the most important mathematics journals even though the Head of the Mathematics Department was told it was very foolish to spend $200 on mathematics books at Illinois where no one could possibly read them. In 1927, the library moved to the Mathematics Building where the librarian at the time, Professor James B. Shaw, oversaw its arrangement. The Mathematics Library grew from 1,900 volumes in 1910 to 12,950 in 1939. Growth has continued so that over 28,000 volumes comprise the mathematics collections at the University of Illinois.

Estimate of Holdings:

More than 100,000 volumes in the Mathematics Library and approximately 1,000 current serial subscriptions. See "Location of Materials" for additional information.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The mathematics collection is ranked as one of the best three in the country (cf. University of Michigan and Princeton), although we must now be recognized as the finest due to our Title 11-C grant. We have the most comprehensive collection of Russian mathematical works as well as one of the finest journal collections in terms of length of run and international coverage.  Our monograph collection is superb; as a national Mathematics Document Delivery Center we attempt to acquire all monographs reviewed in Mathematical Reviews (from 1940 to date).

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Mathematics Library

Location of Materials:

The Mathematics Library holds over 64,000 volumes and 2,000 microforms. The Bookstacks has 9,200 volumes and the Rare Book and Special Collections Library 1,150 volumes. Mathematical materials can be found in almost every departmental library, but the other substantial collections are to be found in Engineering Library, Physics Library (mathematical physics), Biology Library (biomathematics), and Commerce Library (mathematical economics).

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Downs, p. 145

Major, pp. 16, 35, 37-38, 50

Stanford, Edna Cleo. The History of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois. Urbana, Illinois: Thesis, Master of Arts in Mathematics, 1940.

U.S. Department of Education Title II-C grant application. "Mathematics Document Delivery and Reference System." 1981. (Unpub.) See pp. 19-21.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Standard statement, except that special efforts are made to collect in all languages. Special emphasis is made in Russian and, lately, in Chinese and Japanese. The mathematics collection is more multilingual than any other science collection.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions. There is a strong interest in the history of mathematics; routine purchases are made of materials to be housed in the Rare Book and Special Collections Library.

Geographical Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Treatment of Subject:

Standard statement. However, our collection efforts have been broadened in order to support the Mathematics Document Delivery Center. We now collect materials in the applied areas of mathematics which are allied with astronomy, biology, computer science, economics, engineering, etc., if the units responsible have not collected them. Duplication is avoided whenever possible. Textbooks for 300-400 level courses are purchased.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement. Special efforts are made to acquire rare items or classics in the history of mathematics.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

Mathematics Collection
Mathematics, general 4 Mathematics
Philosophy of mathematics 3 Mathematics
Mathematical logic 4 Mathematics
Mathematics, study and teaching 3 Education Mathematics
Mathematics, history, biography 4 Mathematics History Of Science
Mathematical tables and formulas 3 Mathematics
Mathematical recreations 2 Mathematics
Arithmetic 4 Mathematics
Computer of arithmetic 2 Mathematics Engineering
Algebra, general 4 Mathematics
Combinations 4 Mathematics
Graph theory 2 Mathematics
Homological algebra 4 Mathematics
Group theory 4 Mathematics
Linear, multilinear algebra, matrix theory 4 Mathematics
Algebraic theory 4 Mathematics
Number theory 4 Mathematics
Algebraic fields/algebraic numbers 4 Mathematics
Set theory 4 Mathematics
Universal algebra 4 Mathematics
Commutative rings and algebras 4 Mathematics
Associative rings and algebras 4 Mathematics
Non-associative algebra 4 Mathematics
Lie algebra 4 Mathematics
Machine theory-formal languages 2 Engineering Mathematics
Machine theory-coding theory 2 Engineering Mathematics
Game theory 3 Mathematics Commerce
Probability and statistics - see Mathematics/statistics statement Numerical analysis 2 Mathematics Engineering
Mathematical analysis, general 3 Mathematics
Calculus 4 Mathematics
Analytical numbers 4 Mathematics
Ordinary differential equations 4 Mathematics
Partial differential equations 4 Mathematics
Topological groups/lie groups 4 Mathematics
Harmonic analysis 4 Mathematics
Functional and integral equations 4 Mathematics
Geometry, general 4 Mathematics
Algebraic geometry 4 Mathematics
Topology 4 Mathematics
Global analysis 4 Mathematics
Infinite geometry 4 Mathematics
Differential geometry 4 Mathematics
Mathematical physics 3 Mathematics Physics
Mathematical economics 3 Mathematics Commerce
Control theory 3 Mathematics Engineering


Version Date: November 2005