Chika Onyedike

Finding stories of important unknowns

Bibliography on The Countess of Lovelace


Primary Source:

Menabrea, L.F. Sketch of the Analytical Engine. Trans. Ada Lovelace. John Walker. Oct. 1842.Web. 11 Sept. 2011.

L.F. Menabrea had actually been astudent of Charles Babbage during his only presentation of the Analytical Engine which is how he came to know of his teacher’s blueprint to the first computer. He wrote Sketch of the Analytical Engine in Italian and so a translator was needed.  This is where Lovelace comes in. Along with translating the work, she also added in her own notes to the equation. Most noted are her notes on the Bernoulli numbers. This source is important in
understanding the way that Ada Lovelace worked. Her notes are her only evidence of being anywhere involved in the Analytical Engine and should always be referenced when discussing her life.


Secondary Sources:

De Morgan, Sophia. Memoir of Augustus De Morgan. London: Longmans, Green, and CO, 1882. Print.

This biography on Augustus De Morgan’s life is the perfect secondary source to find information on him becuase his wife wrote it. She had direct contact with De Morgan she accurately describes his life and thoughts. Also there are letters written by De Morgan in this book to several influential people like William Frend, Sir John Herschel, and the like. Furthermore, De Morgan’s list of articles and novels written are put down in the bigoraphy in chronological order. Any information a person wants to know about De Morgan can be found in this book.

Kim, Eugene and Betty Toole. “Ada and the First Computer.” Scientific American. Scientific American, May 1999. Web. 11

The article criticizes the use of calling Ada Lovelace the “first computer programmer.” In their eyes, Lovelace is only an interpreter of Charles Babbage’s work. Her mathematical notes interspersed within her translation of Babbage’s work brought Lovelace the prestige that people associate with her name now. However, the article does suggest that Lovelace is a female pioneer of the computing field. Overall, this source does bring a different perspective to the story of Lovelace and is
extremely useful to create a debate/argument of what her work has done for society and more depth to any research done on her in the future.

Langley,Doris.  Ada, Countess of Lovelace: Byron’s Legitimate Daughter. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. Print.

Although this book has to be classified as a secondary source, it fulfills its purpose of bringing Ada Lovelace’s life to the forefront of a reader’s mind. Langley took it upon herself to find letters from, to, and about the Countess and proceeded to use them as evidence while describing the woman’s life. The biography contains the various experiences that Lovelace went through as well as insight to her work with Babbage. It is possible to also learn more about her childhood which could be its own book by itself. This biography is a stepping stone into getting accurate information about the woman.

Mattis,Michael. “Repurposing Ada”. Salon Media Group, 16 Mar .1999.Web. 11 Sept. 2011

His interpretation of criticism of Ada Lovelace does not seem professional at all. He talks about her lineage and also
of the article that Eugene Kim and Betty Toole did together instead of trying to make his own judgment of what Ada Lovelace was capable of. His article reads more like a gossip column than an informative piece of information used for
research purposes and the like.  After going through this brief article, any use of it can be deemed irrelevant.

Stein, Dorothy. Ada, a Life and a Legacy.  Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1985. Print.

Generally speaking, this book is not as helpful as Langley’s biography in getting information about The Countess of
Lovelace. Nevertheless, it has its own quotes from Lovelace, her family, and her friends. This biography as well as Langley’s contains pictures of Lovelace and all those close to her. Despite the fact that it is not on the same caliber as the other book when it comes to information, it is still useful in finding facts on Lovelace. If Langley’s biography could not be found then this book should be the next in command.  It also can back up most of what is said in Langley’s book.  So fact checking is possible when using both biographies which helps solidify Lovelace’s history.

Tertiary Source:

“Ada Lovelace.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d.Web. 13 Sept. 2011.

Although it generalizes whatever topic it has been searched with, Wikipedia does provide links to other sources related to
the subject. Finding information on Ada Lovelace was made easy using Wikipedia as a database. Besides that, then Wikipedia’s page on Ada Lovelace is mediocre at best, however, it is still a useful source. It gives out facts but with
references that makes finding more work possible.

—“Augustus De Morgan.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d.Web. 22 Oct. 2011.
A person can find the bare minimum of what De Morgan did on Wikipedia. It is a good basis to start with but finding a good secondary source will be all a person need’s to have a good presentation or paper. It does show what math equations De Morgan was known for which will make searching for information easier. Also it does provide the researcher with connections to De Morgan’s more famous family members. In short, De Morgan’s wikipedia page can help a person get an idea of what they are looking for.
“WITI.” WITI. n.d. WITI – Women In Technology International. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.
A person could find the most information on WITI with this site. There are videos of the founder and other members available for viewing. It provides people with a better undestanding on what WITI is. Furthermore, if joining WITI was a choice for the reader then it could be done on the site as well. This website is extremely helpful and informative.
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