Scope and Content
Bell, Eric Temple
Title: Eric Temple Bell papers,
Date (inclusive): 1918-1991
8 document boxes, 1 flat
This archive contains manuscripts, and typescripts for many of Bell's works both mathematical and science fiction.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to these papers.
University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Collection number: MS 58
Born: Feb.7,1883 in Aberdeen, Scotland
Died: Dec.21,1960 in Watsonville, California, USA
The cowboys have a way of trussing up a steer or a pugnacious bronco which fixes the brute so that it can neither move nor
think. This is the hog-tie, and it is what Euclid did to geometry.
The Search For Truth
Eric Temple Bell although born and brought up in Scotland, lived from 1903 in the United States. He was educated at Stanford University and at the University of Washington. He received his doctorate from Columbia University in 1912 for the dissertation
The Cyclotomic Quinary Quintic
. His doctoral work
was supervised by Frank Nelson Cole. Bell taught mathematics at the University of Washington from 1912 until 1926, when he was appointed professor of mathematics at the
California Institute of Technology. Bell wrote several popular
books on the history of mathematics. He also made contributions to analytic number
theory, Diophantine analysis and numerical functions. The American Mathematical Society
awarded him the Bocher Prize in 1924 for his memoir,
, which appeared in the
Transactions of the American Mathematical Society
in 1921. Although he wrote 250 research papers,
including the one which received the Bocher Prize, Bell is best remembered for his
books, and therefore as an historian of mathematics. His books
The Development of Mathematics
, (1940) became classics. At a
lower level he wrote books which included
and Servant of Science
(1951). Bell did not confine his writing to mathematics
and he also wrote science fiction. Under his best-known pseudonym, John Taine, he authored the following science fiction titles:
The Cosmic Geoids [Fantasy Publishing
Co. Inc., 1949] novel + story
The Crystal Horde [Fantasy, 1952]
a.k.a. White Lilly [Dover, 1966]
The Forbidden Garden [Fantasy, 1947]
G.O.G. 666 [Fantasy, 1954]
The Gold Tooth [Dutton, 1927; Burr, 1929]
The Greatest Adventure [Dutton, 1929; Ace; Dover]
Green Fire [Dutton, 1928; Fantasy Publishing Co. Inc., 19521
The Iron Star [Dutton, 1930; Fantasy Publishing Co. Inc., 1952; Hyperion]
Seeds of Life [Fantasy, 1951; Galaxy Novel #13; Dover]
The Time Stream [Buffalo, 1946; Dover; Garland, 1976]
Quayle's Invention [Dutton, 1927]
The Purple Sapphire [Dutton, 1924; Dover]
A. Broadbent described Bell and his writing in the following way:
"His style is clear and exuberant, his opinions, whether we agree with them or not, are
expressed forcefully, often with humor and a little gentle malice. He was no uncritical
hero-worshipper being as quick to mark the opportunity lost as the ground gained, so
that from his books we get a vision of mathematics as a high activity of the questing
human mind, often fallible, but always pressing on the never-ending search for
Gillispie, Charles Coulston.
Dictionary of Scientific Biography.New York:Scribner,1970-1980.
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
"Bell, Eric Temple".[Accessed 22 October 1999].
"Eric Temple Bell". Nature 4763,1961.
The Search for E.T. Bell : also known as John
Washington D.C.:Mathematical Association of America,1993.
Scope and Content
This archive contains manuscripts, and typescripts for many of Bell's works both mathematical and science fiction. Also included
is an original unpublished manuscript
Class Number Forumlas, by J. Ouspenski.
The archive is arranged by title.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bell, Eric Temple, 1883-1960--Archives.
Collection is open for research.
Gift of Drs. Janet and Taine Bell in May 1969.
Eric Temple Bell Papers, MS 58, Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and
their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
The books have been cataloged separately. Please see Cruzcat, the online catalog.