The Jahrbuch Project
Electronic Research Archive for Mathematics

Background of the Jahrbuch Project

History of the "Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik"

The JFM was founded in 1868 by the mathematicians Carl Ohrtmann and Felix Müller. The authors described their intention in the preamble of the first issue:

"Das Ziel, das uns vorschwebte, war einerseits: Demjenigen, der nicht in der Lage ist,  alle auf dem umfangreichen Gebiet der Mathematik vorkommenden Erscheinungen selbstständig zu verfolgen, ein Mittel zu geben, sich wenigstens einen allgemeinen Überblick über das Fortschreiten der Wissenschaft zu verschaffen: andrerseits: dem gelehrten Forscher seine Arbeit bei Auffindung des bereits Bekannten zu erleichtern."

(Our intention was on the one hand: To provide a tool for those, who are not able to follow  all publications on the comprehensive field of mathematics, and to gain a general overview about the development of the science. On the other hand: It should help the active scientist to find out known facts. )

The JFM appeared in 68 issues from 1868 - 1942 (some volumes contain publications of several years). More than 200.000 mathematical publications in this period were reviewed by the JFM.

Necessity for digitalization

Today the JFM and some original publications of 1868 - 1942 are still valuable sources for mathematical research and teaching. But not many libraries of universities, high schools and research institutes have access to the complete JFM. The same deficit is valid for many important publications. Therefore some mathematicians had the idea to create a database of the JFM and a digital archive of the most important publications of this time.

Last modified: 20.7.2000,