|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
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At a Glance
Collection arranged in 4 series.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Other Finding Aids
The David Eugene Smith Collection of works in Chinese on mathematics and other subjects: Link
The David Eugene Smith collection of works in Japanese on Japanese mathematics: Link
Japanese woodblock printed books and other unique Japanese materials at Columbia University: Link
Conditions Governing Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on site.
Collection is closed for digitization/conservation work. Some materials can be made available through special arrangement based on the condition of the items. Please email email@example.com.
Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Smith-Plimpton East Asian collection; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Tibetan Manuscript collection
Smith Indic/South and Southeast Asian collection
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of David Eugene Smith and George Arthur Plimpton.
Edgren, Soren. "George Arthur Plimpton and His Chinese Connection." Columbia Library Column 40:1 (1990), 14-23.
Some items from the collection are also featured in Mathematical Association of American (MAA)'s Index to the Collection of Mathematical Treasures from the David Eugene Smith and George Arthur Plimpton collections. https://www.maa.org/press/periodicals/convergence/index-to-mathematical-treasures
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Processed by Yingwen Huang, 2022. Materials in this collection were processed to the item level. Awaiting conservation assessment.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
David Eugene Smith (January 21, 1860 – July 29, 1944): Mathematician. Professor of mathematics at the State Normal School, Cortland, N.Y., 1884-1891; at Michigan State Normal College, 1891-1898; at New York State Normal School, Brockport, N.Y., 1898-1901; and at Teachers College, Columbia University, 1901-1944. He was the editor of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, the American Mathematical Monthly, and Scripta Mathematica, a member of the International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics, 1908-1944; and librarian of Teachers College, 1902-1920. He was the author of Rara Mathematica (1907), The History of Mathematics (1924), and many other works on the history of mathematics as well as over forty mathematical textbooks and numerous journal articles. He also collected manuscript materials relating to the history of mathematics.
George Arthur Plimpton (July 13, 1855-July 1, 1936): publisher and collector, college trustee and philanthropist. Phillips Exeter Academy, 1873; Amherst College, 1876. After a year at Harvard Law School, he began as salesman in the educational publishing house of Ginn and Heath, becoming a member of the firm in 1882. In 1914, he became head of the firm, renamed Ginn and Company, was active in it until 1931, and remained a member until his death on July 1, 1936.