The British Association for the Advancement of Science was established in 1831 to promote the public understanding of science. As part of its mission to promote the understanding of science, the British Association also supported new areas of scientific investigation through the creation of temporary research committees.
At the 1871 meeting of the British Association held in Edinburgh, a committee was set up for the purpose of reporting ‘on Mathematical Tables, which it might be desirable to compute or reprint’. The Committee was re-formed and reorganised at various times but its purpose remained broadly along its original lines.
In 1928 Col. A.J.C. Cunningham (member of the Committee 1895-1901, Secretary 1896-1901) died leaving in his will 'one-twelfth part (of my residuary estate) for preparing new Mathematical Tables in the Theory of Numbers'. This legacy was used to produce Vols. III, IV, V, VIII, and IX of the British Association Tables.
The British Association Committee held its final meeting on 23 June 1948, its assets and liabilities, including the residue of the Cunningham bequest, being transferred to the Royal Society on 30 June 1948.
The collection includes Minute Books (1929-1948), Annual Reports (1896, 1923-1939, 1948 & Final Report), correspondece and papers relating to Elliptic Functions (1925-1943), correspondence and papers relating to the Cunningham Bequest (1930-1960), and miscellaneous correspondence and papers relating to the Committee.
The papers were received from Professor M.V. Wilkes, FRS, who served on the Committee 1939-1948, and who had in turn received them from Dr. J.C.P. Miller, the last Secretary of the Committee 1945-1948.Access Conditions
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A fuller description and detailed index are available in the Library and at The National Archives.
British Association Mathematical Tables Committee