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 order of acquisition. It includes a file on plans by the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the publication of Boole’s The Laws of Thought (published in 1854), and 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.
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.
The Thomas Hewitt Papers, Cork City and County Archives www.corkarchives.ie
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 email@example.com
George Boole* 200 - UCC's celebration of George Boole's Bicentenary in 2015
Copyright: UCC Library. For use of RIA material (BP/1/A/1) in publications prior approval from The Royal Irish Academy is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Boole announcing the birth of his first-born daughter, Mary Ellen (BP/1/A/2/3)