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George Boole Ancillary Collection: Home

About the Collection

Collection Ref.:             IE BP/1/A
Title:                            George Boole Ancillary Collection
Dates:                           26 Oct 1849 - 1865
Level of description:    Item
Extent:                          7 items
Administrative History:
IE BP/1/A is additional material relating to George Boole held in the UCC Library deposited after the main collection The Papers of George Boole was fully listed in 1990. The letters written by and to George Boole were donated to UCC Library in 2013 by former Associate Professor Des MacHale, School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Cork. 
Biographical History:

George Boole (2 November 1815 – 8 December 1864) was an English mathematician and philosopher, most recognized as the inventor of Boolean Logic, which is the basis of modern digital computer logic. He was awarded the first Royal Medal in mathematics for his 1844 On a General Method in Analysis, published in the Transactions of the Royal Society, and was in 1849 appointed first Professor of Mathematics at the Queen's College in Cork (now University College Cork).

Born in 1815 to Mary Ann Joyce (1780-1854) and John Boole (1777-1848) in Lincoln, England, Boole was the son of parents of modest means. He had 3 siblings Maryann (1818 –1887), Charles (1819 –1888) and William (1821 –1902). His father, a cobbler by trade, had an abiding love of science, literature and mathematics much to the detraction, and ultimate collapse, of his business affairs. George Boole being a deeply religious man had intended as a young man to enter the Ministry but was forced owing to his family's circumstances to teaching, working in Doncaster, Waddington and Liverpool before establishing his own school in Lincoln at age 19.

Boole's father died in December 1848 before the decision had been made concerning the Irish chairs but an announcement came in August 1849 that Boole was to become the first Professor of Mathematics at Queen's College, Cork, and he took up the position in November. He taught at the University for the rest of his life, gaining a reputation as an outstanding and dedicated teacher.

In 1855 he married Mary Ann Everest and they had 5 children, all daughters Mary Ellen (b. 1856), Margaret (b. 1858), Alice (b. 1860, Lucy (b. 1862) and Ethel (b.1864).

On 8 December 1864 Boole died prematurely at his home in Ballintemple, Co. Cork aged only 49. Hhe died of an attack of fever, ending in effusion on the lungs. He is buried in Blackrock, a suburb of Cork.


The George Boole ancillary collection is listed in date order. It includes original letters written by and to George Boole. For some descriptions you will notice 'see also' reference numbers - this refers to related material in either The Papers of George Boole (BP/1) or this ancillary collection. 

Access & Use


Finding Aid: Item descriptions (see separate tab above, next to 'Home' tab)

Additional Collection Information

Language: English

Related Material: 

An Investigation into the laws of thought: on which are founded the mathematical theories of logic and probabilities by George Boole, (1854), Special Collections, UCC Library. A turning the pages editions of The Laws of Though are available here. This was created during George Boole 200*.

The Papers of George Boole, UCC Library Archives Service.

The George Boole Papers Digitisation Project, online access to digital copies of the Papers of George Boole held in UCC Library. 

George Boole Examination Book, UCC Library Archives Service. A turning the pages edition of The George Boole Examination Scrapbook is available here. This was created during George Boole 200*.

The Thomas Hewitt Papers, Cork City and County Archives

U15B/P/A 30    Cuverian Society   2 notices of lectures and newscutting re. meeting, George Boole in chair. Jan. 1855, Special Collections, UCC Library. To order this material, please email 

​George Boole* 200 - UCC's celebration of George Boole's Bicentenary in 2015 

Copyright: UCC Library

Collection Image

Boole announcing the birth of his first-born daughter, Mary Ellen (BP/1/A/2/3)