In 1699, the government had decreed that Hindu-Arabic numerals henceforth were to be used in administrative documents instead of alphanumerals (an incompletely evolved base-ten system). Since Magnitskii had digested a wide range of foreign works, including Vlacq’s instructions for using his Tabulae sinuum tangentium (a pocket-sized, Russian edition of the tables was separately published), his use of Hindu-Arabic numerals was unavoidable; alphanumerals, however, were included as a transitional step to the newer programme.
On the inside front cover of this copy is the booklabel of Tsar Nicholas Alexandrovich II (1868-1918), interlocking N and A beneath a crown (Marguerite Studemeister, Bookplates and their owners in imperial Russia, Tenafly, NJ 1991, pp.52-53 no. 27). According to a recent study (Valerii Durov, Kniga v sem'e Romanovykh, Moscow 2000, p.24ff.), Nicholas II’s huge library (10,915 titles, 15,720 volumes) was distributed between his official residence, the Winter Palace, and the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. Sales of books from Russian imperial palace collections commenced about 1930 and continued until the early 1940s.
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