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Robert Adrain papers


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Robert Adrain (1775-1843), a prominent scientist and mathematician, was born in Carrickfergus, Ireland but fled to Princeton, New Jersey as a result of a wound sustained in the Rebellion of 1798. Adrain taught at the Academies at Princeton, York, and Reading as well as Rutgers University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania, but he is best known for his formulation of the method of least squares. Adrain was also an editor of the Mathematical Correspondent, the United States' first mathematical journal, and attempted to found his own journal,The Analyst, or, Mathematical Museum in 1808 and 1814, but he did so with little success. He then foundedThe Mathematical Diary in 1825 which, presumably due to its wider audience appeal, remained in publication through 1832.

This collection consists of two series. The first includes mathematical and scientific texts from Adrain's library written in English, French, and Latin, and the second holds cards containing a list of books from Adrain's library as well as a letter concerning Adrain's potential appointment to a faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gift of the great-grandchildren of Robert Adrain, through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick S. Duncan, 1926.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Molly B. Hutt
Finding Aid Date
2015 April 16
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This collection is open for research use.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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A Mathematical Dissertation on the Figure of the Earth, [by Thomas Simpson], including a letter prior to the preface from Thomas Simpson to Martin Folkes, Esquire, President of the Royal-Society, undated.
Box 1 Folder 1
Trigonométrie. Rectiligne et Sphérique, par Antoine Cagnoli, traduite de L'Italien par N.M. Chompré, seconde édition considérablement augmentée, 1808.
Box 1 Folder 2-3
Théorie des Fonctions Analytiques, 1813.
Box 1 Folder 4
Mémoire Explicatif du Zodiaque Chronologique et Mythologique, by J. L. Lagrange, 1806.
Box 1 Folder 5
Introductio in Analysin Infinitorum, auctore Leonhardo Eulero, Professore Regio Berolinensi, & Academiæ Imperialis Scientiarum Petropolitanæ Socio, Editio Nova, Tomus Secundus, Continens Theoriam Linearum curvarum, una cum appendice de Superficiebus, by Dupuis, 1797.
Box 1 Folder 6
Exercices de Calcul Intégral. Méthodes Diverses pour la Construction des Tables Elliptiques, Suivies de la Table générale des Fonctions complètes, de la Table particulière pour le module sin 45°, etc., by Leonhardo Eulero, 1816.
Box 1 Folder 7
Mémoires de L'Académie Royale des Sciences Années MDCCLXXXIV-LXXXV, second partie, 1786.
Box 1 Folder 8

"Books from the Robert Adrain Library," card file, undated.
Box 1 Folder 9
Letter from Adrain to John Vaughn concerning a teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania, 1826 September 9.
Box 1 Folder 10

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