# Computers, Numerical Methods

Cambidge: printed by J. Smith . . . and sold by Deighton & Sons [etc.], 1813. First edition, extremely rare, of the only volume of the Memoirs of the Analytical Society, written entirely by Babbage and Herschel while students at Cambridge University. The aim of the society was to promote... More

Item #3307

London: John Murray, 1851. First edition, rare, especially in the original publisher’s cloth. Chapter 13, entitled ‘Calculating engines,’ contains a description of the current state of development of Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Conceived by him in 1834, this machine was designed to evaluate any mathematical formula and to have even higher... More

Item #3299

London: Charles Knight, 1832. First edition, very rare large paper issue, of Babbage’s pioneering work of political economy, “a remarkable performance of a remarkable man” (Schumpeter, p. 541), and “a turning point in economic writing” (ODNB). “The first edition of On the economy of machinery and manufacturers was issued in... More

Item #3304

London: G. Barclay, 1845-1860. A possibly unique collection of pamphlets, all first editions, documenting the decades-long dispute between Babbage (1791-1871) and his archenemy Sheepshanks (1794-1855), but also involving Sir James South (1785-1867) and Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892). “In a section [of Exposition of 1851] called “Intrigues of Science” Babbage... More

Item #4050

First edition. New York: American Telephoen and Telegraph Company, 1949. The first comprehensive report on the transistor; one of the most important inventions of the 20th Century. The invention of the transistor was first announced in three short letters by Bardeen, Brattain, Shockley, and Pearson, in The Physical Review (July... More

Item #2419

N.P. Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp. 1949. Rare sales brochure for Eckert and Mauchly’s BINAC, the first operational stored-program computer in the United States. ❧Origins of Cyberspace 1145. J. Presper Eckert, together with his partner John Mauchly, invented and constructed the first general-purpose digital computer (the ENIAC) during World War II. After... More

Item #3320

Paris: Firmin Didot Fréres, 1836 [-1841]. First edition, rare in the original printed wrappers, of Champollion’s monumental work on Egyptian grammar, which laid the foundations for all subsequent discoveries in Egyptology. It contains the first printed list of hierolglyphs (260 in all). “The Grammar set out Champollion’s theory and classification... More

Item #3708

Braunschweig: Friedrich Vieweg, 1872 & 1888. First editions, very rare in commerce, of Dedekind’s two great works on the foundations of mathematics. “This short work [Stetigkeit und irrationale Zahlen] marks a significant epoch in the movement known as the arithmetization of analysis, that is, the replacement of intuitive geometric notions... More

Item #4201

[N.p. N.p.], 1879-81. Provenance: The January 1879 printing is Dodgson’s own copy with his autograph emendations. The other two printings are the copies of Dodgson’s child friend Agnes Caroline Smith: the February 1879 printing is signed by her (evidently the hand of a child), and the 1881 printing is inscribed... More

Item #3951

Jena: Hermann Pohle, 1891. First edition, very rare, of this important essay, in which Frege carried out a revision of his famous Begriffsschrift (1879), which was necessary in order to carry out his programme of reducing arithmetic to formal logic. Function und Begriff contains Frege’s two main innovations since the... More

Item #3523

Leipzig & Berlin: B.G. Teubner, 1931-33. First editions, and a fine set in the original printed wrappers, of these rare proceedings to which Gödel contributed thirteen important papers and remarks on the foundations of logic and mathematics (see below for a complete annotated listing). The most important are perhaps ‘Über... More

Item #3707

Lyons: Jacob Marechal for Simon Vincent, 5 May 1517. Third edition, the first edited by the Lullist Bernard de Lavinheta (d. ca. 1530), of the Ars Magna, his greatest work, now recognised as perhaps the first work in computer science. “Lull invented an ‘art of finding truth’ which inspired Leibniz's... More

Item #4363

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1876. First edition, rare on the market in this condition, of Maxwell's textbook on dynamics, “a masterpiece of natural philosophy, notable especially for introducing into physics the term relativity in a passage that combines strenuous scientific insight with a mystical awareness … [It] had... More

Item #3849

Cambridge, MA: September 1967. First edition, extremely rare pre-publication issue, of this important early work in Artificial Intelligence (AI), containing the first systematic study of parallelism in computation. It was first published in book form in 1969 as Perceptrons. An Introduction to Computational Geometry (second edition 1987). It “has remained... More

Item #4332

[The Association for Symbolic Logic], 1936. First edition, very rare offprint, of Post’s formulation of the notions of computation and solvability by means of a theoretical machine very similar to the concept of a Turing machine proposed by Alan Turing in his famous paper ‘On computable numbers.’ Alonzo Church had... More

Item #4062

Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 1950. First edition, journal issue in original printed wrappers, of Alan Turing’s landmark explanation of what would become known as the ‘Turing test’ to determine whether a machine can ‘think’. In ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence,’ “Turing sidestepped the debate about exactly how to define thinking by means... More

Item #4406

London: C. F. Hodgson and Son, 1943. First edition, journal issue in the original printed wrappers, of Turing’s ground-breaking work outlining a method (which he hoped could be performed by a machine) to decide the most famous open problem in mathematics, the so-called Riemann hypothesis. This is a conjecture about... More

Item #4426

London: C.F. Hodgson and Son, 1936-37. First edition. On Computable Numbers’ is regarded as the founding publication of the modern science of computing. It contributed vital ideas to the development, in the 1940s, of the electronic stored-programme digital computer. ‘On Computable Numbers’ is the birthplace of the fundamental principle of... More

Item #4474

London: C. F. Hodgson and Son, 1939. First edition, journal issue in original printed wrappers, of Turing’s PhD thesis, “one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science” (Appel), and perhaps Turing’s most formidable paper. ““Systems of logic based on ordinals” is a profound work of... More

Item #4425

Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950. First edition of Turing’s last paper in pure mathematics, a return to his great work ‘On computable numbers’ in which he had proved that the halting problem – the problem of deciding whether a given Turing machine ever reaches the halting state when provided with... More

Item #3490

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1955. First edition of this bibliography of members of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, published on the 25th anniversary of the Institute’s foundation. This is a remarkable copy, inscribed and signed by the great mathematician and computer pioneer John von Neumann, as well... More

Item #4331

Cambridge: at the University Press, 1910-12-13. First edition of all three volumes of this monumental work. Complete sets of the first edition which, like ours, are not ex-library, are very rare on the market – only two such copies have sold at auction in the past 25 years. Probably named... More

Item #3562