Frequently Asked Questions


We would like to use some of your pictures in a book, a Web-site, ...

We do not own the copyright to most of the images used on this website and we don't mind what you do with them.

We believe that most of the images are in the public domain and that provided you use them on a website you are unlikely to encounter any difficulty.

However, if you wish to use them in any other way -- in "paper" publishing or on a CD for example -- we cannot guarantee that there may not be outstanding copyright problems.

A statement to this effect is linked to all the pages which show the pictures


We would like a copy of one of your pictures at a higher resolution

We have acquired the pictures on our site from a variety of sources: books, journals, web-sites, walls of various Maths buildings around the world, ... and I am afraid that we have not kept a record of where we got them and have not kept any higher resolution copies than the ones we show on our pages.

These are (mostly) 326 pixels high (for slightly complicated historical reasons) and so when we see such odd-sized pictures elsewhere we know where they come from!

If you do need better pictures the Smithsonian is a pretty good source. They have many pictures of scientists at a very high resolution and will let you use them at a price.

If you don't find what you want there, you could always try postage stamps.


We would like to use some of your material in hand-outs, theses, posters, web-sites, ...

We are very happy for you to use anything we have put together provided that you keep our names as authors on the bottom and if it is to be used on the Web include a link back to us.


How can you say Archimedes was not Greek, Lagrange was not French, Bolyai was not Hungarian, Hilbert was not German, ... ?

When we include mathematicians in lists of those born in a given country we are using the present-day geopolitical boundaries and since Western Europe in particular has undergone sweeping changes in the last 200 years these may no longer be quite what you expect.

So Archimedes and Lagrange were born in present-day Italy, Bolyai in Romania, Hilbert in Russia, etc.

If you go to the individual biographies you will usually find some discussion of this. So for example, János Bolyai's birthplace is given as "Kolozsvár, Hungary (now Cluj, Romania)" and his deathplace as "Marosvásárhely, Hungary (now Tirgu-Mures, Romania)".


We would like to cite some of your material

You can cite (for example) the biography of Stefan Banach as:

J J O'Connor and E F Robertson, Stefan Banach, MacTutor History of Mathematics, (University of St Andrews, Scotland, February 2000)
http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Banach.html

(The authors and the date are at the bottom of each article)


Who are the mathematicians on the "Background picture" to the Main index page?

You can see these at THIS LINK.

How many did you recognise?


Back to the Main Index

JOC/EFR May 2017

The URL of this page is:
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Miscellaneous/Help.html