The collection’s primary function is to support research and teaching programs in the area of pure mathematics based on the research interests of the Mathematics Department. In addition the collection supports affiliated researchers in computer science, particularly related to combinatorics and graph theory, economics, physics, and statistics.

Professor Shizuo Kakutani, who arrived at Yale in 1949, took a particular interest in developing a mathematics library collection. He acquired books and journals for the library and established a local classification scheme still in use. The classification for monographs is divided into major subject groupings: Algebra, Algebraic geometry, Analysis, Complex variables, Differential equations, Differential geometry, Elementary, Geometry, History, Group theory, Logic, Number theory, Physics and applied mathematics, Probability, and Topology. Additional classification groupings are used to represent significant formats, including Conferences, Lives and Works, Reference and Yale dissertations. Several classifications were added later, including Festschriften and Problems.

The Mathematics Library is located in Leet Oliver Memorial Hall.

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

Subject areas include real analysis, complex analysis, functional analysis, classical and modern harmonic analysis; linear and nonlinear partial differential equations; dynamical systems and ergodic theory; geometric analysis; kleinian groups, low dimensional topology and geometry; differential geometry; finite and infinite groups; geometric group theory; finite and infinite dimensional Lie algebras, Lie groups, and discrete subgroups; representation theory; automorphic forms, L-functions; algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry; derived algebraic geometry, motives; numerical analysis; combinatorics and discrete mathematics.

The department offers B.A., B.S., M.S., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees.


Mathematics selection within supported subject areas is maintained at the research level for graduate study. The research level is defined as where independent research with the published sources can be pursued.

The Mathematics faculty require a browsable collection. Core journals are maintained in print format upon faculty request. Online databases are preferred over print. Monographs are purchased selectively in print or electronic format based on relevance to departmental teaching and research, reviews, user requests, and faculty authors.

Material in the subjects of applied mathematics, computer science, mathematical physics, and statistics are referred to the collections mentioned below. Materials with a biographical or historical focus relevant to mathematics are purchased only if they do not duplicate holdings in Sterling Memorial Library.

Formats collected

Formats and materials acquired generally

  • Conference proceedings
  • Festschriften
  • Monographic series
  • Periodicals
  • Reference works
  • Scholarly monographs

Formats and materials collected selectively or by request

  • Audio-visual material and optical disks are purchased only on request.
  • Textbooks are generally excluded unless requested by faculty.

Formats not collected

  • Ephemera
  • Instructor’s manuals
  • Juvenile works
  • Pamphlets
  • Preprints
  • Manuscripts
  • Microform

Languages collected

Materials collected are primarily in English.

Chronological and geographical focus

Current materials are emphasized.

No geographic areas are excluded.

Collaborations within Yale

Communication occurs with selectors for engineering and applied science related to applied mathematics and mathematical statistics, and with physics for mathematical physics. Works placed on course reserve are collected by Bass Library, along with books for which high use is anticipated.

Subject Librarian

Andy Shimp