By Barbara McCormack (Special Collections Librarian, Maynooth University), Dr Ciarán Mac an Bhaird (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Maynooth University) and Dr Philip Beeley (Reading Euclid Project, University of Oxford)
An important exhibition relating to the history of mathematics was launched in the Russell Library on Wednesday, 27th June by Professor Philip Nolan (President of Maynooth University). ‘Reading Euclid: Examining the key mathematical text through an exhibition at the Russell Library’ was a collaboration between the Library and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Maynooth University in conjunction with the ‘Reading Euclid’ project at Oxford University.
Euclid’s Elements is often referred to as one of the most influential works ever written, and it has played a key role in education since it first appeared. The original text is attributed to the Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria, who lived around 300BCE. It was one of the first mathematical works to have been printed and is reported to have had the second most printed editions of any work after the Bible. It has been used as a textbook in mathematics for over a 1000 years, and contains many well-known results, such as the Pythagorean Theorem.