The Society is grateful for opportunities to enhance its collection. All offers to donate to the archive should be sent to:
London Mathematical Society
57-58 Russell Square
London WC1B 4HS
How potential donations are assessed
Upon receiving an offer of potential archive material, the Library Committee will make an assessment of which of the categories below best describes the collection (seeking professional archive advice where necessary) and will respond according to the guidelines set out below.
The Library Committee is responsible for the initial consideration of potential additions to the Archive, whether presented as part of the regular additions generated as part of the Society’s normal business or offered in the form of a private external donation.
System of classifying of material offered and normal responses
Category A: Material that relates specifically to the history of the Society and its activities (including, but not limited to, minute books, significant correspondence and relevant photographs), and to the history of its forerunners.
The Society will normally accept all suitable donations of Category A material (subject to the conditions below). Material will then be catalogued by the Society’s Archivist and held in the Archive Room in De Morgan House, and significant donations acknowledged in the Society’s Newsletter.
Category B: Material that relates to important mathematicians from the Society’s history, but does not relate directly to the Society itself as an organisation or its activities (such as personal correspondence of former Presidents and Officers and material relating to their mathematical work).
The Library Committee will normally recommend to Council that the Society offers to assist and use its influence in finding a long term home for all or part of the collection to enable it to be held securely and accessibly for mathematicians and historians.
After this process has taken place, the Society may consider accepting ownership of the material offered, subject to the conditions of acceptance below, if no other more suitable repository has been found.
Category C: Material that otherwise relates to the history of mathematics and other mathematicians in the UK.
The Library Committee will use its best efforts to provide an advisory service to help the owner to find a suitable home for the material to enable it to be held securely and accessibly for mathematicians and historians, but will not normally accept the donation itself.
Conditions for acceptance in the Archive
Potential donors are advised to note the following Conditions for Acceptance when considering donating material to the archive:
- The Society will only accept material from third parties as a gift; material will not normally be purchased or accepted on loan. All material must have a demonstrable provenance.
- Material will be accepted only if the Society is, or thereby becomes, the legal owner of the items and (where possible) any associated copyright via a signed transfer of copyright form.
- In the interests of providing mathematicians and historians with suitable access to other categories of material, the Society retains the right to choose how and where donated material is stored or displayed, in accordance with its charitable objectives.
- There is a strong presumption against the disposal of material that has been accepted into the archives. However, the Society retains the right to dispose of material within the collection as it sees fit, in accordance with its charitable objectives and the interests of mathematics. In such cases first refusal would be given to the original donor or to an organisation that is able to provide or arrange for more suitable care and access.