Papers of Colin Maclaurin

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

GB 231 MS 0034 Small collection of papers of Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), c 1728 - c 1735 and n.d., comprising dissertations (Dissertationes Mathematicae Academicae ); letters to him on mathematical subjects; miscellaneous mathematical calculations and other papers. Some of the correspondence in this collection is in French, and some of the mathematical papers are in Latin.

GB 231 MS 0206 Papers of Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), 1720 - 1743, principally correspondence, including letters to Sir A. Cumming, A. Malcolm, Robert Simson, Robert Smith, and others; narrative of quarrel with William Braikenridge; an account of his tour of the Continent, 1722; papers on the combustive and vital powers of air, and other topics. Some of the correspondence in this collection is in French, and some of the mathematical papers are in Latin.

GB 231 MS 0207 Holograph notes by Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), On Fluxions, n.d. [pre-1742]. Published as Colin Maclaurin, A Treatise of Fluxions. In two books (Edinburgh: Ruddiman, 1742)

GB 231 MS 0208-9 Holograph notes by Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, n.d. [pre-1746]. Published as Colin Maclaurin, An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in four books, ed. by Patrick Murdoch (London: sold by A. Millar and J. Nourse, 1748)

Administrative / Biographical History

Colin Maclaurin was born in 1698, third son of John Maclaurin, minister of Kilmodan, Argyll. His father died in his infancy, and his early years were spent under the charge of his uncle, Daniel Maclaurin, minister of Kilfinan, Argyll. He was educated at Glasgow University from 1709, where he excelled in mathematics and natural sciences. In 1717 he was appointed professor of mathematics at Marischal College, Aberdeen, and in 1725, became deputy to Professor James Gregory (1753 - 1821) at the University of Edinburgh, where he remained until his death in 1746.

Published works include Geometria Organica. Descriptio Linearum Curvarum Universalis (London: Innys, 1720); A Treatise of Fluxions. In two books (Edinburgh: Ruddiman, 1742) (which originated from his 1724 Royal Academy of Sciences prize-winning memoir on the percussion of bodies); An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in four books, ed. by Patrick Murdoch (London: A. Millar and J. Nourse, 1748); and Treatise of Algebra (London,: A. Millar and J. Nourse, 1748), which was re-printed 4 times between 1753 - 1788. He also edited David Gregory's A Treatise of Practical Geometry in three parts (Edinburgh: Hamilton&Balfour, 1745)

For details of his life and work see Dictionary of National Biography. See also Herbert Westren Turnbull, Bi-centenary of the Death of Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), Mathematician and Philosopher, Professor of Mathematics in Marischal College, Aberdeen (1717-1725), Aberdeen University: Studies, 127 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen U.P., 1951); Charles Tweedie, A Study of the Life and Writings of Colin Maclaurin, The Mathematical Gazette, 8 (1915), 133-151; Charles Tweedie, The "Geometrica Organica" of Colin Maclaurin: a Historical and Critical Survey, Royal Society of Edinburgh Proceedings, 36 (1915-1916), 87-150; Graham Hall, John Pulham, Douglas Somerset, Colin Maclaurin, 1698-1746: Report of a Meeting held in Aberdeen University on the 10th of March 1998 to Celebrate the Tercentenary of the Birth of Professor Colin Maclaurin(Aberdeen: Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, 1998); and Colin Maclaurin, The Collected Letters of Colin Maclaurin, ed. by Stella Mills (Nantwich: Shiva, 1982).

Arrangement

These collections have not been listed, but papers in GB 231 MS 0034 appear to be arranged chronologically, and the correspondence in GB 231 MS 0206 is arranged by author and/or recipient.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Date and source not recorded. All of the papers described above were in the care of the University Library in Aug 1952, therefore a deposit date prior to this is certain.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

Transcripts of correspondence in GB 231 MS 0034 and GB 231 MS 0206 have been published in Colin Maclaurin, The Collected Letters of Colin Maclaurin, ed. by Stella Mills (Nantwich: Shiva, 1982). See Publication details for reference to other papers available in print.

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Accruals

No accruals expected

Related Material

Papers deposited in this repository Letter of 22 Apr 1740, from James Douglas, 14th Earl Morton, Edinburgh, to William Wiseheart, Colin Maclaurin and Alexander Munro, Edinburgh University, advising them of payment of £100 towards building of Observatory; receipt of payment acknowledged on reverse, 12 Nov 1740 (GB 231 MS 2106). See also Colin Maclaurin and George Home, Memorial, Concerning the Building an Observatory in the College of Edinburgh (n.p., n.pub, ? 1741) (a copy is deposited in the University pamphlet collection, ref. Thomson 1/47)

Notes (1 folder - 31 leaves) compiled by M. Peterson, University of Strathclyde, on 'The Collected Letters of Colin Maclaurin' (GB 231 MS 3367)

Papers deposited elsewhere Lecture notes and papers (Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections: Reference: Dc 1 17, 3 66, 7 73; Gen 75D). See HMC, MS papers of British scientists 1600-1940 (1982) Lecture notes and papers (Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections: Reference: Dc 1 17, 3 66, 7 73; Gen 75D). See HMC, MS papers of British scientists 1600-1940 (1982) Papers re. spheroids and Nugae Poeticae (British Library, Manuscript Collections: Reference: Add MSS 4437, 52247) Papers re. spheroids and Nugae Poeticae (British Library, Manuscript Collections: Reference: Add MSS 4437, 52247) Memorial to Commissioners of Excise, 1735 (National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division: Reference: Adv MS 23 1 13) Memorial to Commissioners of Excise, 1735 (National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division: Reference: Adv MS 23 1 13) Papers (Royal Society) See HMC, MS papers of British scientists 1600-1940 (1982) Papers (Royal Society) See HMC, MS papers of British scientists 1600-1940 (1982) Letters to Sir John Clerk, 1737 - 1742 (National Archives of Scotland: Reference: GD18/5097) (NRA 29182 Clerk) Letters to Sir John Clerk, 1737 - 1742 (National Archives of Scotland: Reference: GD18/5097) (NRA 29182 Clerk) Letters to James Spreull etc (copies) (Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department) See HMC, Accessions to repositories 1977 (1978) Letters to James Spreull etc (copies) (Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department) See HMC, Accessions to repositories 1977 (1978) Letters (11) to James Stirling, 1728 - 1740 (held privately: lists with NRA(S) and NRA: Reference: NRA(S) 2362 and NRA 14810 Stirling) Letters (11) to James Stirling, 1728 - 1740 (held privately: lists with NRA(S) and NRA: Reference: NRA(S) 2362 and NRA 14810 Stirling) Papers re. projected biography by JC Eaton (Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department). See Guide to Dept of Special Collections (1989)

Bibliography

Colin Maclaurin, A Treatise of Fluxions. In two books (Edinburgh: Ruddiman, 1742) Colin Maclaurin, A Treatise of Fluxions. In two books (Edinburgh: Ruddiman, 1742) Colin Maclaurin, An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in four books, ed. by Patrick Murdoch (London: A. Millar and J. Nourse, 1748) Colin Maclaurin, An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in four books, ed. by Patrick Murdoch (London: A. Millar and J. Nourse, 1748) Some of the correspondence in GB 231 MS 0034 and GB 231 MS 0206 has been published in Colin Maclaurin, The Collected Letters of Colin Maclaurin, ed. by Stella Mills (Nantwich: Shiva, 1982) Some of the correspondence in GB 231 MS 0034 and GB 231 MS 0206 has been published in Colin Maclaurin, The Collected Letters of Colin Maclaurin, ed. by Stella Mills (Nantwich: Shiva, 1982) Herbert Westren Turnbull, Bi-centenary of the Death of Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), Mathematician and Philosopher, Professor of Mathematics in Marischal College, Aberdeen (1717-1725), Aberdeen University Studies, 127 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen U.P., 1951) Herbert Westren Turnbull, Bi-centenary of the Death of Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), Mathematician and Philosopher, Professor of Mathematics in Marischal College, Aberdeen (1717-1725), Aberdeen University Studies, 127 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen U.P., 1951) Charles Tweedie, ; A Study of the Life and Writings of Colin Maclaurin, The Mathematical Gazette, 8 (1915), 133-151 Charles Tweedie, ; A Study of the Life and Writings of Colin Maclaurin, The Mathematical Gazette, 8 (1915), 133-151

Additional Information

This material is original