Elsevier takes its name from the original House of Elzevier, a Dutch family publishing house founded in 1580. The Elsevier Heritage Collection consists of 2,000 volumes with more than 1,000 distinct titles published by the Elzevier's from 1580 to 1712. Titles such as Descartes' Geometrica, Galileo Galilei's Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche, Intorno a Due Nuove Scienze (Two New Sciences) and François Viètes' Opera Mathematica are curated and preserved in museum quality, climate-controlled display shelves in the Elsevier headquarters.
Opera Mathematica is the collected works by François Viète, one of the innovators in the standardization of algebra. It was edited by the Leiden scholar Frans van Schooten, and published by the Elzevier's in 1646. The copy in the Heritage Collection is unique. Edward Davenant, an English academic worked out most of Viètes' problems in beautiful handwriting, giving us a glimpse of how mathematicians used their books in the past. Elsevier has digitised this unique version of Opera Mathematica.
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