Mathematician's newly discovered letters to be digitised at UCC

Thu, Jun 2, 2011, 01:00

A COLLECTION of newly discovered letters from a mathematician regarded as the founder of modern computer languages is to be digitally archived at University College Cork.

Some 4,000 items, including printed books and papers by George Boole, the first professor of mathematics at the then Queen’s College Cork, will be archived and made accessible to the public via the internet.

Boole’s work during the latter half of the 19th century focused on algebra formulations that became the basis of modern computer science.

The collection of papers is to be integrated into the current Boole papers digitisation project thanks to an EMC Heritage Grant.

The EMC-funded project is an extension of a current UCC Library project to digitise the George Boole collection of letters at UCC, to make them accessible to the general public via the internet. The project has been in preparation for more than two years and is expected to be completed later this month.

The digitisation project was established initially in 2006 by UCC graduate Daragh Horgan and his wife Anne, who donated generously toward the cost.

The UCC Boole Library is one of eight organisations from around the world to be awarded “Information Heritage Trust” grants for projects that digitise, preserve, protect and improve access to invaluable cultural information.

EMC Corporation vice-chairman Bill Teuber said the project aims to preserve valuable primary sources.

During her visit to the Tyndall National Institute at UCC, Queen Elizabeth was presented with a handmade lace scarf featuring elements of George Boole’s algebra incorporated into the design.

Handsewn by Cork artist, Carmel Creaner, the scarf symbolised the role of Queen Victoria in the foundation of the college.