New Old Stuff

Posted by Amy the Archivist on January 27, 2009 in

I mentioned previously that we rely on donors to acquire new material for our collections.  In this post, I will highlight our latest acquisition.

Recently Mr. Cox left this comment on the blog:

I live in Seattle Wa. and i found an old calculus book at a garage sale. It is ” practical treatise on the differential and integral calculus with some of its applications to mechanics and astronomy” published in 1873. There are equations and other writings from alumni Van Wyck Hewlett. If you would like this let me know and i’ll send it to your attention.

Calculus Page
Calculus Booklet

This book was interesting to me for a few reasons.  We are especially interested in items that document the history of engineering pedagogy and the Institute's curriculum.  The attribution of this book to an RPI student makes it even more desirable.  The book's context, though, is just as significant as it's content.  This edition of William Peck's Calculus is relatively rare because students burned their books in an elaborate ceremony known as the Calculus Cremation.  This is one of my favorite old student traditions because it was so bizarre!

A big thanks to Mr. Cox for this donation!  It's great when people are willing to find an appropriate place where items will be used and appreciated.



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