At a glance

Mathematics & Statistics Library

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History of the Mathematics & Statistics collection

The Mathematics & Statistics collection began with the growth of departmental libraries for mathematics and statistics following the development of the Mathematics Department in 1925 and the Statistics Department in 1948. In 1956 the Physics, Mathematics, and Statistics Library was housed in the Physics Building, Building 380.

In 1961 a plan for a new physics building and the renovation of the old physics space to house the Mathematics Department was finalized. This remodeled mathematics building included a Mathematical Sciences Library which would house 22,000 volumes. The computer science materials were moved to Polya Hall with the new Computer Science Department and the physics materials were moved into the new Physics (Varian) Building. The renovated building and library were dedicated December 11, 1964. The library served the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Statistics, the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Laboratory, Institute for Mathematics in the Social Sciences, and the Laboratory for Quantitative Research in Education. The Mathematical & Computer Sciences Library was created when the Computer Science Library was merged with the Mathematical Sciences Library in March 1979 when the Computer Science Department moved into Margaret Jacks Hall. At that time the fourth floor of the Mathematics Building was renovated to its present size.

On March 29, 2010, the Mathematics & Statistics Library was born when the computer science collection was merged with the Engineering Library (now the Terman Engineering Library). The library was moved and reopened at its current location in Herrin Hall on January 6, 2014. It will share space with Falconer Biology Library until the Combined Sciences Library opens in summer 2016 in a newly renovated Old Chemistry Building.

Originally created by Rebecca Wesley, updated by Linda Yamamoto

Collection development policy

I. Programmatic information

Library materials in the mathematical sciences are collected in support the departments of Mathematics and Statistics, as well as the program in Operations Research. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in mathematics; only graduate programs are offered in statistics and operations research (now part of the Department of Management Science & Engineering). The Math & Statistics Library's collection also serves the needs of students in the programs in Financial Mathematics, Mathematical & Computational Science, Scientific Computing & Computational Mathematics, and interdisciplinary majors using courses and faculty from the Mathematics and Statistics departments.

As a secondary objective, the Math & Statistics bibliographer collects materials for students and faculty in other departments who use mathematics and statistics as tools in their studies and research. This population includes logicians in the Department of Philosophy, and members of such programs as the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI), the Division of Biostatistics at the School of Medicine, and the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY, formerly the Institute of Mathematical Studies in the Social Sciences).

II. Coordination and cooperative information

The fields of study covered by the Math & Statistics Library have the greatest overlap with those of Terman Engineering Library. Coordination and continuing evaluation is required in the following fields: theoretical computer science, information theory, machine theory, and operations research. The responsibility for operations research is currently divided as follows: the Math & Statistics Library emphasizes the theoretical and mathematical aspects and Terman Library emphasizes the applied aspects.

Responsibility for the history of mathematics and statistics is shared with the curator for History of Science & Technology Collections with materials pertaining to pre-20th century mathematics falling primarily in that collection, which is housed in Green Library. The Math & Statistics and Green Libraries have some introductory texts and surveys in mathematics and statistics. Cubberley Education Library houses materials on math and statistics instruction. The Math & Statistics Library obtains materials in the area of mathematics education to meet specific needs of the faculty and teaching assistants in the Mathematics Department.

The Business and Green Libraries have collections on finance and economics. The Math & Statistics Library has additional material to support the teaching and research of the Financial Mathematics program.

Applied mathematics is developed at the level of post-graduate research. In certain areas more complete collections lie in the library responsible for the area of application (e.g., geomathematics in Branner Library, mathematical biology and bioinformatics in Falconer Library, mechanics and mathematical physics in Terman Library). The Math & Statistics and Physics bibliographers work closely together in developing the collection in mathematical physics; decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. The Math & Statistics bibliographer selects some materials in theoretical biostatistics.

III. Subject and language modifiers

  • Geographical: not applicable.
  • Chronological: In general, mathematics and statistics written before the 19th century is not collected, with the exception of the collected works of well-known mathematicians.
  • Language: English is preferred. Major non-English language journals are acquired in their original languages in addition to the English translations due to the time lag in the availability of the translations. Research monographs are collected in other languages if no English translation is likely or available when the material is required. Russian, German, French, and Italian are the predominant non-English languages.

IV. Description of materials collected

1. Types of material and format:

  • Monographs
    • Research monographs
    • Texts: graduate level; some upper division (lower division texts and programmed texts are excluded)
    • Mathematical and statistical tables
    • Technical glossaries and bilingual dictionaries
    • Bibliographies
    • Biographical and institutional directories
    • Stanford dissertations
    • Proceedings, if critical to the discipline
  • Reports
    • Technical reports: Stanford (retained as archive) and non-Stanford; many on microfiche
    • Lecture notes and course materials
    • Preprints and reprints are excluded
  • Serials
    • Professional journals
    • Conference proceedings
    • Indexes and abstracts
  • Non-print
    • Microfiche and microfilm
    • Audio cassettes of conference presentations (e.g. debates) not available in print or digital format
    • Video tapes
    • CD-ROMs
    • DVDs
    • Floppy disks
    • E-books
    • E-journals

2. Publication date: Research publications in mathematics and statistics do not become obsolete.

V. Special considerations

A number of Eastern European and Asian journals are received on exchange by virtue of Stanford Libraries' institutional subscription to the Pacific Journal of Mathematics.

All unique publications of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) are acquired.

Prepared by Linda Yamamoto, Bibliographer (revised June 2013)