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Mathematical Treasures - First Issue of Acta Mathematica

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Acta Mathematica is a journal devoted to publishing original research papers in mathematics. It was founded in 1882 by the Swedish mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler (1846–1927), and was originally sponsored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science. This is the title page of the first edition.

The journal’s list of editors is given. Note the names of the eminent mathematicians of this period, such as Sylow, Lie, Lorenz, and Zeuthen.

Pages 3 and 4 provide background on the founding and support of the journal.

The journal’s first article, “Théorie des Groupes Fuchsiens,” was by the French mathematician Henri Poincáre (1854–1912). In the previous year, while working on the hypergeometric equation related to differential equations, Poincáre conceived of the notion of a Fuchsian group. The first two sections of Poincáre’s ground breaking paper are given here.


These images from its George Arthur Plimpton Collection are presented through the courtesy of the Columbia University Libraries.


Index to Mathematical Treasures


Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasures - First Issue of Acta Mathematica," Convergence (December 2019)


Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University