Sylvester Letters

Scope and Content

Eight letters from James Joseph Sylvester to his niece, Contessa Edith Gigliucci, 1865-1896, and two letters to Count Mario Gigliucci, 1896.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sylvester was born on 3 September 1814. He was educated in London, at the Royal Institution Liverpool, and at St John's College Cambridge. He held the Chair of Natural Philosophy at University College London from 1837 to 1841. In 1841 he went to the USA, being appointed to the Chair of Mathematics at the University of Virginia. He later worked at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. From 1883 he was Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University. Sylvester discovered a Theory of Reciprocants, which he made known at Oxford in 1885. He invented kinematical instruments, such as the Plagiograph and Geometrical Fan. He was the founder and first Editor of the 'American Journal of Mathematics'. He won many medals for his work. Sylvester also published a very large number of mathematical memoirs in English and foreign journals. He died on 15 March 1897.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs Marion Rawson, whose cousin Contessa Bona Gigliucci is the daughter of Contessa Edith Gigliucci, in November 1971 and January 1972.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal copyright restrictions apply.