Viewing Newton’s College notebook

In my twenties I became quite interested in the notebooks of Da Vinci and Newton, more interested than in their finished works, as a way to try and learn more about them and how they worked. I’ll blog a study of these later.

In 2016 I was allowed to see and handle the Fitzwilliam notebook for an hour, the first surviving mathematical notebook of Isaac Newton. it contains his early studies of Euclid, as well as a collection of his expenses and confessions of sins. Here are some photos I took. Newton was an undergraduate at Trinity College Cambridge at the time.

Note 1: I was told not to wear gloves by the curator – the oil of the hands is good for the paper, and the gloves make you more clumsy.

Note 2: there is an excellent facsimile available of another notebook at kroneckerwallis

The Notebook is very small.
This is a list of Newton’s confessions of sins, written in a code broken only last century.
A list of Newton’s expenses
Newton’s expenses continued – note the beginning of his interest in chemistry, and alchemy, in the top line.
Beginning of the mathematical section of the notebook

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