I have been meaning to ask this question for some time, and have been spurred to do so by Georges Elencwajg's fantastic answer to this question and the link contained therein.

In my free time I enjoy reading historical accounts of "recent" mathematics (where, to me, recent means within the last 100 years). A few favorites of mine being Alexander Soifer's The Mathematical Coloring Book, Allyn Jackson's two part mini-biography of Alexander Grothendieck (Part I and Part II) and Charles Weibel's History of Homological Algebra.

My question is then:

What freely available resources (i.e. papers, theses, articles) are there concerning the history of "recent" mathematics on the internet?

I would like to treat this question in a manner similar to my question about graph theory resources, namely as a list of links to the relevant materials along with a short description. Perhaps one person (I would do this if necessary) could collect all the suggestions and links into one answer which could be used a repository for such materials.

Any suggestions I receive in the comments will listed below.

Suggestions in the Comments:

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Mactutor: www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Chronology/index.html $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2012 at 21:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can facilitate you the 3 volumes of History of Number Theory. $\endgroup$
    – Pedro
    Jun 4, 2012 at 22:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The beautiful article by Gregory H. Moore, The emergence of open sets, closed sets, and limit points in analysis and topology is linked to in this thread. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Jun 4, 2012 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @petertamaroff I would very much appreciate that. How would we go about it? $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2012 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Holdsworth88 Give me an e-mail address, and I'll attach the files. $\endgroup$
    – Pedro
    Jun 5, 2012 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


Babois's thesis on the birth of the cohomology of groups .

Beaulieu on Bourbaki

Brechenmacher on the history of matrices

Demazure's eulogy of Henri Cartan
Serre's eulogy of Henri Cartan

Dolgachev on Cremona and algebraic cubic surfaces

The Hirzebruch-Atiyah correspondence on $K$-theory

Krömer's thesis on the beginnings of category theory

Raynaud on Grothendieck and schemes.

Rubin on the solving of Fermat's last theorem.

Schneps's review of the book The Grothendieck-Serre Correspondence

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting! I will definitely have a look some of those. $\endgroup$
    – M.B.
    Jun 4, 2012 at 23:34

Things I have found so far:


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