John Hersee Collection of Manuscript Exercise Books

The John Hersee collection of mathematical manuscripts records the teaching and learning of mathematics from 1704-1907.

Robert Smith S10c
Watercolour illustration of a mathematical problem from Box 6T, Code S10c, Robert Smith, Greenrow Academy, (1832), Volume 3 of 5, covering Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration and Surveying.

Individual exercise books were collected by John Hersee and donated to the Mathematical Association in 2004.

There are nearly 300 volumes from 190 authors. The exercise books are mainly concerned with mathematical subjects but some include other subjects such as writing, poetry, music, history, scripture and geography. The range of mathematics is restricted to elementary topics: predominantly arithmetic and mensuration but also some geometry, trigonometry and algebra, and applications, particularly commerce and accounting, but also gauging (excise measurements), surveying and navigation.


Handlist of the John Hersee Collection of Exercise Books (pdf)
'Rare Maths Exercise Books at the Mathematical Association' (YouTube video)

Archive catalogue record for the John Hersee Collection

Readers wishing to consult the manuscripts should email specialcollections@le.ac.uk or telephone 0116 252 2056 to arrange an appointment.

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