De Morgan Library

The collection

Almost 3,800 items on mathematics and its history, printed between 1474 and 1870, predominantly in English. Arithmetic is especially well represented, but algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, logarithms, probability, annuities, functions, astronomy and, to a far lesser extent, mechanics are all present. The collection includes multiple editions of popular or significant works, most notably Euclid’s Elements, and numerous bound pamphlets. Mathematical and astronomical landmarks jostle with obscure titles. Several items are extremely rare or, indeed, unique. De Morgan’s annotations enhance a significant minority. This is the Library’s founding collection.


The collector

Collected by the mathematician and mathematical historian Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871; see ODNB). Several of De Morgan’s own articles were subsequently added by William De Morgan.



Purchased by Samuel Jones Loyd, Baron Overstone (see ODNB) and given by him to the University in 1871.



Catalogued online 2004/6. For an overview of the library, do an author search on “De Morgan, Augustus” as former owner. A mixed classmark search on [DeM] will bring up all books printed after 1500 in classified order.


Related archives

De Morgan family papers, including letters to Augustus De Morgan and some of his printed work (MS913); papers and correspondence (MS775; MS239); annotated, or draft copies of De Morgan’s work (MS238, MSS240-1 and MS776).


Select publications


Attar, Karen, 'Augustus De Morgan, his Reading, and his Library', in: Mary Hammond and Jonathan Rose (ed.), The Edinburgh History of Reading (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2019)

Attar, K.E., ‘Victorian Readers and their Library Records Today’, in: Matthew Bradley and Juliet John (ed.), Reading and the Victorians (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 99-110

Merrington, Maxine, A List of Certain Letters Inserted in Books from the Library of Augustus De Morgan Now in the University of London Library ([London]: University of London Library, 1990)



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