Calculating Value: Using and Collecting the Tools of Early Modern Mathematics

DEPT/SUBJECT AREA - History

SUPERVISOR(S) - Dr Adam Mosley and Professor David Turner (Swansea University); Nick Wyatt (Science Museum)

RESEARCH DEGREE (PhD)

THESIS TITLE - Calculating Value: Using and Collecting the Tools of Early Modern Mathematics


SYNOPSIS

Existing at the interstices of the histories of mathematics, science, reading, and the book, my Ph.D. research takes as its locus the Science Museum Library’s Rare Books Collection: a collection which comprises over 3,000 printed titles produced between 1486 and 1800, circa 1,700 of which inform my study of the cultural, intellectual, and economic use-values attributed to mathematics in the period. By analysing annotated texts, ownership inscriptions, bookplates, armorials, binding styles and other evidence of provenance, this study advances our understanding of the making of a commercialized mathematical culture – and the making of its users – by effectively characterizing the nature of the demand for mathematics in early modern Europe between 1550 and 1750.


CONFERENCE PAPERS

 

Paper Instruments as Tools of Unification in Early Modern Practical Mathematics

Roundtable Organizer and Participant. Roundtable included Professor Richard L. Kremer, Dr. Angela Axworthy, Dr. Margaret Gaida, and Dr. Boris Jardine. European Society for the History of Science Biennial Conference, Science Museum, 16 September 2018

 

The Library of a Mathematicus: The use and dispersal of Nathaniel Torporley’s Sion College Bequest

Thomas Harriot Seminar, Birkbeck, University of London, 8 September 2018

 

Calculating Value: Reading the Scribal Technologies of Early Modern Mathematics

British Mathematical Colloquium, University of St Andrews, 11 June 2018

 

Negotiating Early Modern Cosmography through Books and Paper Instruments

The Sir Thomas Browne Conference, University of York, 1 June 2018

‘Disturbed by Euclid’: Ramus’s Readers and the Wittenberg sammelband

‘Reading Euclid in the Early Modern World’, University of Oxford, 14 December 2017

 

Collecting a Mathematical Method: Proof, Provenance, and Patronage

History of Science, Technology and Medicine Network of Ireland Annual Conference, Royal Dublin Society, 13 October 2017

 

‘The Stationer’s Common Wealth (or Printers’ Purgatory)’: Stationers, Publishers, and Printers in the Metropolis

Metropolitan Science Open Workshop: ‘London 1600-1800: Communities of Natural

Knowledge and Artificial Practice’, Science Museum, London, 16 June 2017

 

Marking Mathematical Readers in Early Modern England: An Analysis of John Seller’s Pocket Book and its Annotations

British Society for the History of Mathematics Research in Progress Meeting, University of Oxford, 27 February 2017


FUNDING

AHRC Funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (2016-present)


FURTHER INFORMATION

AHRC International Placement Scheme (IPS) Fellow, The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens, California, July-September 2017.