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Archives of American Mathematics Spotlight: The Mathematical Association of America Records

Archives of American Mathematics Spotlight: The Mathematical Association of America Records

By Kristy Sorensen

The Mathematical Association of America and the Archives of American Mathematics (AAM) at the Center for American History have had a close relationship for many years. Building on the presence of the papers of R. L. Moore and some of his colleagues and students, the AAM was established when the Mathematical Association of America chose The University of Texas at Austin as its official archival repository in 1978. Since then, numerous deposits of papers, photographs, and other records have come into the archives. The MAA records held at the AAM now total more than 300 linear feet.


Annual program from the Second Annual Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, December 28-30, 1916. From the Mathematical Association of America Records, Archive of American Mathematics, Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

We now have a strong foundation of records in which mathematical historians, mathematicians, and members and officers of MAA can find valuable and unique information about the history and work of this professional organization. I am working to develop a more focused appraisal strategy that can bring in the most historically relevant materials from all areas of the MAA. Too often important records are inadvertently destroyed or relegated to unopened basement files. Alternatively, bulky day-to-day files can take up valuable space in offices or archives shelves. My goal is to create an appraisal strategy that will be flexible enough to allow for a variety of historical records, without opening the floodgates to unexamined materials.

In order to create an effective appraisal strategy, I?ll need to hear from those of you who are creating potentially archival records. If you are an officer, a committee chair, a section leader, an editor, or involved with any one of the many important records-creating positions in the MAA, I?d be happy to discuss your records with you. To get an idea of what types of papers we currently hold, you may be interested to learn that the searching aid for the MAA Records was recently mounted on the Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) website. It can be viewed at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/00328/cah-00328.html.

As is the case with any growing collection, the finding aid for the MAA Records is a work in progress. We expect it to grow, change, and become more refined as new groups of papers are brought into the archives, cataloged, and opened for research. The Mathematical Association of America Records is one of the core collections at the AAM, and we look forward to helping it grow and evolve to best help our researchers in the future.

The Archives of American Mathematics is located at the Research and Collections division of the Center for American History on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Persons interested in conducting research or donating materials or who have general questions about the Archives of American Mathematics should contact Kristy Sorensen, Archivist, k.sorensen@mail.utexas.edu, (512) 495-4539. Our web site is located at http://www.cah.utexas.edu/collectioncomponents/math.html.

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