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Thomas Banchoff papers on the fourth dimension (MS.2015.001)

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: Manuscripts: 401-863-3723; University Archives: 401-863-2148
Email: Manuscripts: hay@brown.edu; University Archives: archives@brown.edu

Scope & content

The Thomas Banchoff papers on the fourth dimension represent Professor Banchoff's teaching, research, and writings on the higher dimensions, in both a mathematical and an imaginative context. The papers are arranged in seven series:

Series 1. Correspondence and personal (1970-2010) contains personal and professional correspondence relating to Banchoff's research and writing on the higher dimensions, Edwin A. Abbott, and his novella Flatland, as well as particulars of Banchoff's annual research trips to England. Most of the correspondence is arranged by year, but several individual correspondents have their own folders; the series also contains biographical and personal media in the form of CDs, DVDs, audiocassettes, and videocassettes;

Series 2. Writings, teaching, and conferences (1978-2013) includes material relating to teaching the fourth dimension, especially to primary and secondary school students. Also included are class and conference materials, clippings, miscellaneous notes and articles by Banchoff about teaching mathematics and the fourth dimension with computer animation, models, and multimedia resources;

Series 3. Fourth dimension (1856-2010) includes material relating to the idea of the fourth dimension in both modern and historical contexts, and from both scientific and imaginative viewpoints; the series also includes material about its influence on literature, art, and architecture; there are also numerous media resources concerning the visualization of higher dimensions in mathematics, puzzles, and art, including the work of Salvadore Dali.

Series 4. Spiritualism, transcendentalism, religion (1871-2001) contains material about philosophically and spiritually related influences on, and offshoots of, the idea of the higher dimensions, from the nineteenth century to the present. Included are essays by and about George Stuart Fullerton, Charles Webster Leadbeater, and P. D. Ouspensky;

Series 5. Edwin Abbott Abbott (1843-2002) includes biographical and historical research, social and religious influences, and transcriptions of Abbott's correspondence, along with Banchoff notes on his research and an extensive E.A. Abbott bibliography;

Series 6. Flatland (1882-2008) contains annotated versions, commentary, and contemporary reviews of E. A. Abbott's novella Flatland; Banchoff articles and talks on Flatland; notes about related versions of the novella, such as the film, hypertext project, and interactive CD-ROM; there are also multiple media interpretations of the novella;

Series 7. Miscellaneous media (1991-2013) comprises DVDs, CD-ROMs, videocassettes, and audiocassettes containing ideas and references relating to hyperspace.