A short history of probability and statistics: Bibliography Load Home page + menu
Last Update 27 march 2010.


  1. David, FN (1962, 1998) Gods, Games and Gambling: a History of Probability and Statistical Ideas. Mineola, N.Y., Dover Publications, inc
  2. A historical account from the dawn of civilization up to the work of De Moivre. A classic as well as a charming book that is in part based on earlier publications in Biometrika. See errors, addenda and remarks
  3. Droesbeke, J-J, Tassi, Ph (1990, 1997) Histoire de la Statistique, deuxieme edition corrigee, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, Que sais-je? nr. 2527
  4. An information packed, comprehensive account up to the 70-ties in just 126 pages. The only thing lacking is an index. See errors, addenda and remarks
  5. Franklin, J (2001) The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability before Pascal. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press
  6. An account of the development of the concept of probability in Law, Religion and other areas from the dawn of civilization up to the work of Pascal.
  7. Hald, A (1990) A History of Probability and Statistics and their Applications before 1750 Wiley, New York
  8. A very comprehensive work that discusses the important developments and publications of this period in great detail. See errors, addenda and remarks
  9. Huygens, Chr (1660, 1998) Van Rekeningh in Spelen van Geluck vertaald en toegelicht door Wim Kleijne. Epsilon Uitgaven, Utrecht.
  10. A facsimile edition of the 1660 Dutch text with a parallel translation in contemporary Dutch. See errors, addenda and remarks
  11. Huygens, Chr (1656-1666, 1920) Oeuvres Complètes de Christiaan Huygens, tome 14. La Haye, Martinus Nijhoff.
  12. This volume contains Huygens' work on probability calculus. It contains the 1660 text of Van Rekeningh in Spelen van Geluck with a translation in French. It does not however, in contrast to what Hald suggests, contain the 1657 text of De Ratiociniis in Ludo Aleae
  13. Lovie, AD (1991) A Short History of Statistics in Twentieth Century Psychology in New Developments in Statistics for Psychology and the Social Sciences. Vol 2. Lovie P, Lovie AD (eds) (1991) The British Psychological Society and Routledge, London and New York
    Intelligently written and fun to read
  14. Oosterbeek, T (1991) De pijl van Zeno: de geschiedenis van de statistiek A booklet on the history of statistics from the middle ages up to the 60-ties
  15. Smith, DE (1925, 19?) History of Mathematics. Mineola, N.Y., Dover Publications, inc
  16. A classic two volume work. Volume one is a chronological overview while volume two has a more topical approach.
  17. Stigler, SM (1986) The History of Statistics: the measurement of uncertainty before 1900.The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England
  18. A very interesting book covering the period from 18th century up to 1900
  19. Todhunter, I (1865) A History of the Mathematical Theory of Probability: from the time of Pascal to that of Laplace before 1900. Macmillan, London. Reprinted 1949, 1965; Chelsea, New York.
    A nearly comprehensive outline of the literature of that period in over a 1000 articles.
  20. Waerden, BL van der (ed, 1975) Die Werke von Jacob Bernoulli, Band 3, Birckhauser Verlag Basel
  21. Contains Jacob's Meditationes on probability, his Ars Conjectandi, De Usu Artis Conjectandi of Nicolaus Bernoulli etc.
  22. See also the bibliography compiled by David E. Joyce