Mathematical notebook, and commonplace book, circa 1689-1769
Mathematical notebook, and commonplace book, circa 1689-1769
Manuscript notebook, possibly kept by Harvard students, containing 17th century English transcriptions of arithmetic and geometry texts, one of which is dated 1689-1690; 18th century transcriptions from John Ward’s “The Young Mathematician’s Guide”; and notes on physics lectures delivered by John Winthrop, the Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Harvard from 1738 to 1779. The notebook also contains 18th century reading notes on Henry VIII, Tudor succession, and English history from Daniel Neal’s “The History of the Puritans” and David Hume’s “History of England,” and notes on Ancient history, taken mainly from Charles Rollin’s “The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Macedonians and Grecians.” Additionally included are an excerpt from Plutarch’s “Lives” and transcriptions of three articles from “The Gentleman’s Magazine, and Historical Chronicle,” published in 1769: “A Critique on the Works of Ovid”; a book review of “A New Voyage to the West-Indies”; and “Genuine Anecdotes of Celebrated Writers, &.” The flyleaf contains the inscription “Semper boni aliquid operis facito ut diabolus te semper inveniat occupatum,” a variation on a quote of Saint Jerome that translates approximately as “Always good to do some work so that the devil may always find you occupied.” In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Harvard College undergraduates often copied academic texts and lecture notes into personal notebooks in place of printed textbooks. Winthrop used Ward’s textbook in his class, while the books of Hume, Neal, and Rollin were used in history courses taught at Harvard in the 18th century.
Of Mathematicks in G[eneral] [17th century transcription]-- Arithmetick Addition [and] An Epitaph: Beneath this stone shut up in ye dark A fellow and a Priest yclep'd John Clarke With earthly rose-water he did delight ye But now he deals in heavenly Aqua Vitae-- Of Mathematicks in general Mr. Ward to the reader-- Some imperfect sketches of the Lectures read by Mr. Winthrop which I committed to memory and noted down afterwards-- Cyrus in his war with Babylonians-- An account of the principal persons spoken of in such books as have fell my way in reading with lives deaths births times in which they lived characters etc. but more especially designed for the monarchs and the great personages in England & such remarkable transactions as took place in their times as recorded in Neal’s Hist. Puritan Hume’s England-- From Plutarch’s Lives-- Genuine Anecdotes of Celebrated Writers-- From Gentleman’s Magazine The Origin of the Venereal Disease-- Ovid’s Books of Love-- List of Christenings & Burials in City of London from Dec. 1768 to Dec. 1769-- [Notes on Ancient history from Rollin's text]-- An Account of the Kings of all the Nations mentioned in Rollin's ancient History from their first foundation-- Part 1 Geometry [17th century transcription]-- Part 2 Practicall Geometry, or Geodesy [17th century transcription]-- [mathematical diagrams]-- Extracts from Josephus-- A Continuation of the Persian History from page ( ) [notes from Rollin’s text]
Title devised by cataloger.
Open to research.
Mathematical notebook, and commonplace book, circa 1689-1769. HUM 205, Harvard University Archives.
Harvard University Archives
1 volume.
Commonplace books-18th century.
Harvard students' notes.
Harvard textbooks.
Lecture notes.
“Mathematical notebook, and commonplace book, circa 1689-1769,” Colonial North American Project at Harvard, accessed March 28, 2017, http://colonialnorthamerican.library.harvard.edu/items/show/12098.