I am sure that I am not the only one who often bemoans that their university doesn't have that [extremely specific book or paper] they're looking for.

On reflection, I realise it is impractical for the library to have a copy of every mathematical text or paper...but just how impractical would it be?

To a rough approximation, how many textbooks and papers have been written on modern higher mathematics? How many new ones are published each year? How large a library would be needed to hold them all?


closed as off-topic by J.-E. Pin, zhoraster, Stefan Mesken, mrp, Adam Hughes Dec 2 '16 at 22:24

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about mathematics, within the scope defined in the help center." – J.-E. Pin, zhoraster, Stefan Mesken, mrp, Adam Hughes
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  • $\begingroup$ I have no way of answering you decently, but for the guys who have, I guess you will have to define what is a "mathematical book". One written by mathematicians? A book which talks about maths? A book where numbers appear? $\endgroup$ – RGS Nov 22 '16 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe ArXiv preprint site publishes figures on new papers and amazon on new books? $\endgroup$ – Paul Nov 22 '16 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ @RSerrao A first definition could just be 'a textbook written to cover a subject at the undergraduate or higher level' $\endgroup$ – Nethesis Nov 22 '16 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ You are talking about physical copies right? If digital copies are allowed, the size of one room may suffice :P $\endgroup$ – yoyostein Nov 22 '16 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ @yoyostein Let us pretend that ink and paper are very very cheap $\endgroup$ – Nethesis Nov 22 '16 at 10:10

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