Keele defends sale of maths collection

January 1, 1999

Keele University has defended its decision to sell a collection of old and rare manuscripts considered by mathematicians to be a significant national resource.

The university came under fire for selling the collection of 1,400 books and pamphlets, including the first editions of Newton's Principia, to a private collector at Christie's in New York for Pounds 1 million. Keele said it had been assured that the collection would be kept in Britain and would not be split up, as many historians of mathematics had feared.

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