Mathematics and the Historian's Craft
1974 was a turning point for the history and philosophy of mathematics in North America. After years of planning, the ?rst issue of the new journal Historia Mathematica was printed. While academic journals are born and die all the time, it was soon clear that Historia Mathematica would be a major factor in shaping an emerging discipline; shortly, it became a backbone for a globalnetworkofprofessionalhistoriansofmathematics. Inthesameyear,the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics (CSHPM) was founded, adopting Historia Mathematica as its o?cial journal. (In the 1990s, theCSHPMrecognizeditsbroadermissionbynamingPhilosophia Mathem- ica as its o?cial philosophical journal, rechristening Historia Mathematica as its historical journal. ) Initially consisting almost entirely of Canadian m- bers, the CSHPM has become in practice the North American society for the scholarly pursuit of history and philosophy of mathematics. The joint est- lishment of society and journal codi?ed and legitimized the ?eld, commencing what has become a renaissance of activity for the past 30 years. These initiatives were begun by, and received much stimulus from, one man: Kenneth O. May, of the Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. May was a brilliant researcher, but he recognized that the viability of the ?edging discipline required - ministrative leadership as well. In the introduction that follows, Amy Shell- Gellasch,CSHPMarchivist,describesMay’slifeandsomeofhisachievements.
The Kenneth May Lectures have never before been published in book formImportant contributions to the history of mathematics by well-known historians of scienceShould appeal to a wide audience due to its subject area and accessibility