MA Library

What is the MA Library?

The Library of The Mathematical Association comprises nearly 11000 books and 400 runs of periodicals from many different countries. The collection covers mathematics, its teaching, history and popularisation, and is particularly rich in its coverage of school and university mathematics textbooks of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The collection also includes over 1100 older or rarer items going back to the sixteenth century. The Library as a whole is a unique primary source for the history of the mathematics curriculum in the United Kingdom.

What is in the MA Library?

The whole of the MA Library has been catalogued electronically by the University of Leicester Library and can be accessed worldwide via the Web. 

Where is the MA Library?

The Library of The Mathematical Association is accommodated in the David Wilson Library on the main campus of the University of Leicester. The postal address is:

David Wilson Library,

University of Leicester,

University Road,

Leicester LE1 7RH.


Tel. 0116-2522448

Who manages the MA Library and supports its use?

The Library of The Mathematical Association is managed by a small Library Committee, under the chairmanship of the MA Librarian, appointed by the MA Council:

MA Librarian - Vacancy Open
e-mail  - tel: 0116-2210013

The University Library staff support the MA Library's development in many ways and are represented on the Committee by:

Dr Simon Dixon, University of Leicester Associate Director for Community and Heritage
e-mail - tel: 0116-2944871

Committee meetings and the administration of periodical exchange arrangements internationally are supported from MA HQ by:

Sandi Atkinson, The Mathematical Association, Chief Executive Officer

e-mail - tel: 0116-2210013

How do I gain access?

Campus Entry and Parking:

Cars of external readers cannot be accommodated on the university campus. Pay and display parking is available on the edge of the adjacent Victoria Park, only a short walk to the Library entrance.

Joining the Library:

The DWL has introduced an online application form for external users. We will update the links once they are in place. 

Time Restrictions on Access:

Access to MA books and periodicals in the open stacks is possible during all opening hours.
The MA books in the Special Collection are subject to special rules for reference-only use in the Reading Room of the Kirby and West Suite. Arrangements should be made in advance by contacting:

e-mail: - tel: 0116-2522056

This facility is only open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 13.00 to 17.00 Wednesday and Friday 09.30 to 17.00. Weekends closed.

For up-to-date Library opening hours and special closure details please visit the University of Leicester Library home page

How can I borrow items?

The borrowing entitlement is up to a maximum of ten items, for up to four weeks excluding short loan items, from the MA or University collection as a whole. For borrowing in person, check the opening hours for loans from the Library Home Page on the Web.

There is a Postal Book Loan Service for MA members registered with the University Library. MA members may borrow MA books only, by post, subject to their borrowing entitlement. The only charge is for postage and packing to supply, and the borrower pays for return.

Books may be returned by post (see above for the postal address), at the borrower's own risk until received by the Library.

Loans may be set up or renewed by contacting:

e-mail - tel: 0116-2522043

NB The Special Collections are reference only.

Library growth and donations

The library of the MA grows through donations via publishers, and from MA members or relatives/friends following bereavement.

For a history of the library's remarkable growth, 1890 to 2005, see: Mary Walmsley, Mike Price and Michael Dampier:

Mathematical Textbooks from Six Centuries available from MA shop.


Enquiries about possible donations should be addressed in the first instance to the Executive Officer at the MA HQ. The MA librarian welcomes initial indications of the scale and scope of a possible donation, through a list, photographs of spines, or an invitation for a site visit to view a collection. Possible material for the MA library should not be delivered or deposited at MA HQ without invitation. Donations may be accepted in whole, in part or declined.

The Special Collections

For information about five different special collections click above.