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Recreational Mathematics

Guide to archival and published sources held at the University of Calgary Library Special Collections on the subject of recreational mathematics including rare books, kaleidoscopes, games, puzzles, playing cards, magazines and journals.




A kaleidoscope is a cylinder of mirrors which typically contain colourful beads and jewels, however; it can also made with sand and feathers! Light enters through one end of the cylinder and creates a beautiful patterned effect. The pattern can be changed by moving the kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscopes are still popular and often collected; some collector kaleidoscopes are often sold for over $1000! The Eugene Strens Collection has a variety of beautiful kaleidoscopes available to be viewed.

A preview of the kaleidoscopes available.

How To Make Your Own Kaleidoscope

Want to make your own kaleidoscope? Here is a video that will show you how!

How to access the kaleidoscopes

If you're interested in the kaleidoscope collection, it is available to be viewed! Please contact us at:

Interesting Websites