UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Mathematical Women in the British Isles, 1878-1940

Title details

SN: 3654
Title: Mathematical Women in the British Isles, 1878-1940
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-3654-1
Depositor: Davis, A.E.L., Open University. Faculty of Mathematics
Principal investigator(s): Davis, A.E.L., Open University. Faculty of Mathematics
Sponsor(s): Open University
Other acknowledgements: John Fauvel, Open University, Faculty of Mathematics.


The citation for this study is:

Davis, A.E.L. (2004). Mathematical Women in the British Isles, 1878-1940. [data collection]. 2nd Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 3654,

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Subject Categories

Education history - History
Elites and leadership - Social stratification and groupings
Gender history - History
Gender roles - Social stratification and groupings
Higher and further - Education
Science and technology history - History
Social history - History


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The aim of this study was to supply some facts about the position and role of women in British mathematics in the period 1800-1940: their access to mathematical training and to career structures within mathematics, and the nature of their involvement with particular emphasis on bibliographical contributions. It is intended to provide a far broader basis for analysis than has previously been available.
Main Topics:
The dataset consists of a complete listing of all women honours graduates in mathematics (circa 2500 individuals) sorted by university, year and class of degree. It also includes some biographical information (especially concerning subsequent academic achievement), and an indication of whether an individual published. The numbers of male mathematics graduates, sorted by university, year and class of degree, are also included for the purpose of comparison.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1878 - 1940 - The start date of 1878 is the date at which women were first admitted to degrees on equal terms with men at the University of London. The start date for all other universities is later, being either the date when women were first permitted to graduate, or the date when the university was founded, since every new university followed the example of London in admitting women on equal terms with men.
In the case of Cambridge and Oxford, where women were not permitted to graduate until 1947 and 1920 respectively, the start dates are 1882 and 1883 respectively, which are the dates when women were admitted to university examinations and were assessed in parallel with men; these results have been adopted as graduation equivalents.
The end date of 1940 has been chosen to ensure an historical perspective and also once more to avoid the distorting effects of wartime conditions.
Dates of fieldwork: 1992 - 1996
Country: Ireland | Multi-nation | United Kingdom
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Universe: Cross-national
Women who obtained honours degrees in mathematics at universities in the British Isles before 1940.
Time dimensions: Time Series
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Number of units: 2486 (obtained)
Method of data collection: Transcription of existing materials; Compilation or synthesis of existing material
Weighting: No information recorded
Data sources: University Calendars. A near-complete set is available in the British Library.
When the information was not fully recorded (due to wartime conditions, for instance), it was supplemented by personal application to the archivist at the particular university.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 29 July 1997
Latest edition: 26 February 2004 (2nd Edition)
Copyright: Copyright Open University
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
portable data file, containing User guide for university specific mathematician data guide.pdf 35
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_3654_Information.htm 17
READ File read3654.txt 2


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