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MA 410: History of Mathematics: Finding Books/Secondary Sources

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American Mathematical Society Ebooks

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary Sources Secondary Sources
  • Information in its original form when it first appears
  • Information has not been published anywhere else, or put into a context, interpreted, filtered, condensed, or evaluated by anyone else.


  • eyewitness accounts
  • original research (the first publication of a scientific study)
  • letters between two people
  • a diary
  • historical documents such as the US Constitution
  • Information that restates, rearranges, examines, or interprets information from one or more primary sources


  • newspaper or magazine articles that draw upon multiple eyewitness accounts or previous news coverage of an event
  • articles reporting on a scientific study published elsewhere
  • a review of a book


The Marx Library owns several ebook collections, some of which will be useful to you for the history of math. Many of our ebooks can be found using our catalog, SOUTHcat, but you can also try the following collections separately:

  • Springer Ebooks: the library has books from 2005 - current
  • ebrary: the library subscribes to the Academic Complete collection and owns some backfile books as well
  • American Mathematical Society ebooks: these are free. History is in the General Interest area
  • EBSCO eBook Collection: this has some useful items, but try Springer and ebrary first
  • Project Muse: again, this has some useful books, but try Springer and ebrary first
  • Oxford Ebooks: There are about seven math books in this collection but one of them is The Emperor's New Mathematics about math in China during the Kangxi reign (1661-1722)
  • JSTOR ebooks: there are a few math books in this collection. Limit to books and to "include only content I can access" before doing your search.

These two books are ebooks/audiobooks available for free that look interesting for students of the history of math.

Secondary Sources/Books Owned by the University Library