CFP: The mathematical book trade in the early modern world

19–20 December 2019
All Souls College, Oxford

Call for Papers:
The mathematical book trade in the early modern world

Mathematical books were a distinct specialism for certain early modern print shops, and they were of special interest to certain readers and institutions. Mathematical tables, geometrical diagrams and the new algebraic notation made for a distinct appearance on the page and, for many of those involved in their production and use, a distinct class of book. Primers, textbooks and practical manuals as well as new editions of the mathematical classics and works containing new mathematics issued from the presses in large numbers and were purchased, collected, used, and in many cases re-sold, sometimes repeatedly. In what ways was the advertisement, sale and subsequent re-circulation of mathematical books distinctive? What was the place of mathematical books in the activity of book collectors and connoisseurs? Were there distinctive issues in respect of pricing or of re-use of mathematical print? How did the actual use of mathematical books relate to the stratification of the market attempted by some producers and sellers of those books? These issues are the subject of this two-day workshop, to be held in All Souls College, Oxford.

Confirmed speakers:

Philip Beeley
Ian Maclean
Yelda Nasifoglu
Renae Satterley
Tabitha Tuckett
Nick Wilding

Proposals for papers are invited on, but not confined to, the following subject areas:

-Prices, print runs and advertisement for mathematical books
-Collectors and early modern collections of mathematical books
-Mathematical books as objects of prestige and display
-The trade in second-hand mathematical books

Proposals for papers should include an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief CV, and should be emailed to by 15 September 2019. The conference can contribute to travel costs for speakers.