Papers of Professor Henry Piaggio, Professor of Mathematics at University CollegeNottingham, 1900-1954

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

  • Notebooks of Piaggio from his time as a student at Cambridge University containing hand-written notes relating to mathematics, astronomy, grammar etc., 1902-1907 (MS 621/1).
  • Notebook containing notes made on works written by three other writers on mathematics, undated, after 1921 (MS 621/2).
  • Loose manuscript mathematical notes made by Piaggio as well as notes made from works by other mathematicians, undated, c. 1913-1950 (MS 621/3).
  • Correspondence, 1912-1949 (MS 621/4).
  • Testimonials, 1908-1913 (MS 621/5).
  • Off-prints of 'The Conformal Transformation' by H. Piaggio and M.N. Strain, 1947 (MS 621/1/6).
  • Newspaper cuttings, undated c. 1936 (MS 621/7).
  • Postcards, mostly of historic York, undated, c.1910 (MS 621/8).
  • Off-prints of mathematical works by authors other than Piaggio, 1910-1954 (MS 621/9).
  • Mathematics examination papers, 1900-1950 (MS 621/10).
  • Student notebook of E.J.G. Titterington at Perse Grammar School, Cambridge, October 1901 (MS 621/11).

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Thomas Herbert Piaggio was born in 1884, and educated at the City of London School and StJohn's College Cambridge. He graduated from The University of London in 1905 and from Cambridge,with first-class honours in the second part of the Mathematical Tripos, in 1907. He undertookresearch for a year and spent a brief period as mathematics master at a school attached to WoolwichPolytechnic. In 1908 he joined University College Nottingham as Junior Lecturer in Mathematics. From1919 until 1950 he was Professor of Mathematics at Nottingham. He is best known for his textbookAn elementary treatise on differential equations and their applications published in 1920 andreprinted and revised many times. He retired on 30 September 1950 and died on 26 June 1967.

Piaggio achieved some distinction as a mathematician, particularly for his work on the algebra ofinvariants, relativity and the mathematics of psychology. He was awarded the degree of Doctor ofScience of The University of London. He excelled in his teaching, and his students were unusuallysuccessful in the honours degree examination at that University, the route used by Nottinghamstudents until the University of Nottingham acquired its University Charter in 1948. An obituaryappears in the University of Nottingham Gazette (no 59, p 1289, Sept 1967).


The collection has been divided by document type into eleven series. Within these series, itemshave been arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts andSpecial Collections in November 1991. A further accrual of six notebooks was received in October2001.


H.T.H. Piaggio, An elementary treatise on differential equations and their applications (Bell, 1920, London).