Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Archibald, Raymond C.

Raymond Clare Archibald (1875-1955), professor of mathematics, was born in Colchester County, Nova Scotia, on October 7, 1875. He graduated from Mount Allison University at the age of eighteen with first class honors in mathematics and a teacher’s diploma in violin. He received a second bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1896, and a master’s degree in 1897. From 1898 to 1900 he studied in Germany, first at the University of Berlin and then at the University of Strasbourg, where he received a doctorate in 1900. In 1894-95 and again from 1900 to 1907 he was at Mount Allison Ladies College, where he taught mathematics and violin and was in charge of the library. He built the library to 12,000 volumes, for which he wrote by hand 30,000 catalogue cards. In 1907-08 he was professor of mathematics at Acadia University. The next year he became instructor in mathematics at Brown. He became assistant professor in 1911, associate professor in 1917, and professor in 1928. He gave up his music to devote himself completely to the teaching of mathematics, which included personal conferences with each of his students every semester, and to the building up of the mathematical library at Brown to one of the most eminent in the country. As Librarian of the American Mathematical Society from 1921 to 1941 he also supervised the growth of that library. After his retirement in 1943, he collected and presented in honor of his mother the Mary Mellish Memorial Library of American and English poetry and drama to Mount Allison University. His published works included Carlyle’s First Love, Margaret Gordon, Lady Bannerman in 1910, Euclid’s book On Division of Figures in 1915, A Semicentennial History of the American Mathematical Society, 1888-1938 in 1938, and Outline of the History of Mathematics in 1932 and five subsequent editions. In 1939 he was named chairman of a National Research Council on tables, which led to the founding of a journal, Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Computation, of which Archibald was editor. He died on July 26, 1955, in Sackville, New Brunswick.