What happens when you publish an author's collected works while he is still active? Why, you have to publish additional volumes! Thus, here is volume six of Sir Michael Atiyah's Collected Works.
The original five-volume Collected Works was published by Oxford in 1988. In the sixteen years that followed, Atiyah continued to write and publish. He also received the Abel prize in 2004. That seems to have been the added stymulus needed for the appearance of a sixth volume. (And, of course, there may yet be a seventh!)
In his preface, Atiyah says that
Inevitably, with increasing administrative roles and with advancing years, a greater proportion of my papers have been surveys of one kind or another, rather than technical mathematical papers. Such surveys (...) tend to cover similar ground and are in danger of being repetitive. For this reason not all my papers, for the period 1988-2004, are reprinted here. I have been somewhat selective and only included papers which contain new results or at least a new perspective.
This volume has 1030 pages. One wonders at what might have happened if all the papers had been included!
Given the expository nature of many of these papers, this volume may actually be of more interest to some libraries than the first five were. But most good libraries will already have the first five volumes, and will jump at the chance of getting the sixth.
Fernando Q. Gouvêa is Professor of Mathematics at Colby College.