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Film, Video Arithmetic, Numeracy, Literacy, Imagination

Transcript: TEXT

About this Item


  • Arithmetic, Numeracy, Literacy, Imagination


  • 2021 Junior Fellows Amal Charara and Sean DiLeonardi worked with science, technology and business materials related to the history of arithmetic in order to examine how and why we count. Techniques of counting follow us everywhere, from the classroom to the counting house, yet much of the Business Division's holdings on these topics from the 18th century to the present remain understudied. Together, Charara and DiLeonardi collected textbooks, business guides, and other documents to compose a research guide on the business history of arithmetic for the benefit of future researchers. Specifically, DiLeonardi's research examined the proliferation of visual devices and memory aides???from flashcards to math poems that made up an industry of imagination in the 19th century. Charara's research followed the business of counting into the political arena to explore how scientists, mathematicians and other professionals throughout the centuries count crowds of people attending major events, such as inaugurations of presidents. Estimating the number of people involves concepts such as numeracy, equations, density and area. As Junior Fellows, they demonstrated how, throughout history, the business of arithmetic encompasses diverse skills - from numeracy to imagination - as well as diverse counters, from pupils to scientists.

Event Date

  • July 21, 2021

Running Time

  • 6 minutes 4 seconds

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

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Chicago citation style:

Arithmetic, Numeracy, Literacy, Imagination. 2021. Video.

APA citation style:

(2021) Arithmetic, Numeracy, Literacy, Imagination. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Arithmetic, Numeracy, Literacy, Imagination. 2021. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.