Online Historical Maths Textbooks

This page provides links to digitised versions of old maths textbooks. All the books listed here are available to view for free online. There are probably thousands of old maths textbooks online, so this list is by no means exhaustive. Note that I have mainly listed algebra and arithmetic books (rather than geometry books) because that's my area of interest.

16/17th Century
R Recorde, The Castle of Knowledge [1556]

R Recorde, The Whetstone of Whitte [1557]

R Recorde (updated by John Dee) The Ground of Arts: Teaching the Perfect Worke and Practise of Arithmeticke [1618]

M Blundevile, His Exercises Containing Eight Treatises... [1622]

18th Century
S Jeake, A Compleat Body of Arithmetic [1701]*

C MacLaurin, A Treatise of Algebra [1748]

J Mole, Elements of Algebra: To which is Prefixed, a Choice Collection of Arithmetical Questions [1788]

R Barnes, A Short Practical Treatise of Arithmetic [1793]

W Trail, Elements of Algebra [1796]

19th Century
S Lacroix, An Elementary Treatise on Arithmetic [1818]

B Bridge, A Treatise on the Elements of Algebra [1826]

T Weston, A Treatise of Arithmetic [1829]

J Hind, The Elements of Algebra (university level) [1830]

G Peacock, A Treatise on Algebra [1830]

I Todhunter, Algebra [1858]

J Stoddard & W Henkle, The University Algebra [1861]

J Wood & T Lund, The Elements of Algebra [1861]

I Todhunter, Algebra for Beginners [1863]

J Fitch, Methods of Teaching Arithmetic [1869]*

E Brooks, The Normal Elementary Arithmetic … [1869]

J French, Mental Arithmetic [1871]

J Eaton, Common School Arithmetic [1876]

J Ray, Ray's New Intellectual Arithmetic [1877]

J Thomson, New Practical Algebra [1878]

American Metric Bureau, Metric Primer [1878]

H Hall & S Knight, Elementary Algebra for Schools [1885]*

J Hamblin Smith, Elementary Algebra [1885]

G Hines, Mathematical Roots Uprooted [1886]

AIGT (now the MA), The Elements of Plane Geometry: Part II [1888]

H Hall & S Knight, Higher Algebra [1891]

G Wentworth & G Hill, Arithmetic Exercise Manuals [1892]

J MacDonald, Primary Algebra: The Teacher's Guide [1894]

C Smith, Elementary Algebra [1894]

W Boyden, A First Book in Algebra [1895]

K Basu, Algebra Made Easy [1895]

W Ball, Elementary Algebra [1897]

Early 20th Century
F Castle, Practical Mathematics for Beginners [1905]

A Schultze, Advanced Algebra [1905]

D Smith, Advanced Arithmetic [1905]

G Hobbs, E Waite, E Wallace, T Dial, Practical Mathematics (Part 1) [1912]

Ontario Dept of Ed, Arithmetic [1912]

J Perry, Elementary Practical Mathematics [1913] (limited access)

C Chadsey, J Hamblin Smith, Efficiency Arithmetic [1917]

G Wentworth & D Smith, Higher Arithmetic [1919]*

Due to copyright restrictions there are relatively few books available online from the 20th Century. I recommend ordering from (or looking in maths department offices!) if you're interested in maths textbooks from this period.

* I have marked a few of my favourite books with a star.


Some of these books have multiple editions available online, but to keep this page manageable I have only listed one edition in each case.

Click here for links to historical maths textbooks in French, German, Spanish and Italian.

Also see the MAA's page of Mathematical Treasures, and this page of old maths books from

The purpose of this page is simply to save people time when looking for old maths textbooks online. Please contact me to add links or correct links on this page. Huge thanks to @literallyjustq for providing a large number of the links listed above.


  1. With all this historic cleverness, plus all the new tech, plus Jo's extraordinary dedication to collecting up mathematics for us all - how come we are still struggling to motivate and teach secondary maths??!

  2. this is great! thanks!

  3. Are these copyrighted?

    1. I believe copyright runs out after 100 years. Or something like that.