Friday, October 12, 2007

Old Math Journals

Someone in my department is doing the late-career office purge.

Up for sale (in addition to many books): several decades' worth of the Monthly. The purchaser has the option of receiving as a buyer's incentive many free copies of the Bulletin.

Back when I belonged to the AMS and the MAA, I used to discard the journals immediately after reading them. If there was something that interested me, I'd tear out those pages or write myself a note. How many copies of those are mailed out every month? If I really needed some information that was in one of those journals, I'm sure that I could find a copy somewhere.

Scattered around the department are all sorts of old journals dating back to decades before I was born. Since no one knows what we have or where it's kept, I would suspect that if someone needed an article from one of them, they would check the university library and then order it from ILL if the library didn't have it. No one knows what we have. In our common room we have those orange volumes of Math Reviews going back to the beginning, even though it's all online.

Now, if you have a personal library of expensive Elsevier journals that the library doesn't own, that might be worth sharing.

But no one wants your old copies of the Notices.