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Hi, Overflowers

There was a time (not so long ago) where lecture notes were not published, not commonly at least, and their reproduction was expensive. In my case, that was precisely the time when the fields I'm most interested in (algebraic geometry & number theory) underwent an incredible and exciting period.

I think that many of the subtleties and most of the beauty of these days are actually found in the lecture notes who pioneered those dramatic changes. But most of these lecture notes might be lost in time by now.

I'd like to know if someone knows about a place where this kind of material could be found. I have some of these volumes (like Michael Artin's lecture notes on commutative rings, MIT 1966 or Nastold's lectures on homological algebra, Madrid mid-sixties). Despite the material is widely covered in many modern books, I always find gems (maybe a hidden remark, maybe an intuition) that still shine, after so many years.

Thanks for sharing.

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The manuscripts of Edsger W. Dijkstra ( (known as EWDs) can be found here: (I know that he is known mainly as a computer scientist, but I understand that he also did some math.) – Joel Reyes Noche May 31 '13 at 10:07
Also, the EWDs are not really lecture notes. That's why I mentioned this in a comment rather than in an answer. – Joel Reyes Noche May 31 '13 at 10:09
The answer is no, but if you get permission from the authors, you can post them yourself. – anon May 31 '13 at 10:50
4 is a good place for old lecture notes. They are mainly known for their Wayback Machine, but they also collect (and openly distribute) scanned old books, legally bootlegged concerts, out-of-copyright movies... lecture notes seems a good addition to their archive. – darij grinberg May 31 '13 at 13:07
Anon's comment opens a very interesting topic in my humble opinion: the copyright of lecture notes. As a math reader myself, I make perfectly clear at the beginning of my courses that all the class material can be copied and distributed freely, as long as there are no commercial purposes. I have always imagined that the same goes (by defect) to all lecture notes material. After all, they were created to be told and spread. However, examples like Grothendieck's reaction to the English collaborative translation of some of his foundational work shows us something different can occur. – Chema Tornero Jun 1 '13 at 10:03

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