[FOM] First edition of The Russell-Whitehead Principia

T.Forster@dpmms.cam.ac.uk T.Forster at dpmms.cam.ac.uk
Sat Sep 6 00:36:39 EDT 2008

I have been visiting Allen Hazen in Melbourne, and we were discussing the 
delightful book of Owen Gingrich in which he recounts his quest for the 
destination of all the copies of the first edition of the Copernicus {\sl 
De Revolutionibus}. The book was partly a result of Gingrich's irritation 
at a remark of`Koestler's to the effect that nobody ever read it. For us 
FOM-ers an interesting parallel question is the question of who actually 
read the first edition of PM. We have an easier task than Gingerich because 
we know what the print run of PM was (The print run of de Revolutionibus is 
not known). We know Quine read it, and we know Hilbert read it....

   So what Allen and I are asking you all to do is this. Visit the library 
of your institution and see if it has a copy of the **first** edition. If 
it has, please email Allen and me with the details. If it was bequeathed to 
the library by an earlier owner please tell us about him/her. Perhaps you 
even own a copy of the first edition yourself...?

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