XVI B. C. BERND T Watson probably the most popular and frequently used text on anal- ysis in the 20th century [221]. Rankin had succeeded Watson as Mason Professor of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham, where Watson served for most of his career, but was now Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. Both Whittaker and Rankin went to Watson's attic office to examine the papers left by him, and Whittaker found the aforementioned manuscript by Ra- manujan. Rankin suggested to Mrs. Watson that he might sort her late husband's papers and send those worth preserving to Trinity Col- lege Library, Cambridge. During the next three years, Rankin sorted through Watson's papers sending them in batches to Trinity College Library, with Ramanujan's manuscript being sent on December 26, 1968. Not realizing the importance of Ramanujan's papers, neither Rankin nor Whittaker mentioned them in their obituaries of Wat- son [195], [222]. The next question is: How did Watson come into possession of this sheaf of 138 pages of Ramanujan's work? We mentioned above that in 1923 the University of Madras had sent a package of Ramanujan's papers to Hardy. Most likely, this shipment contained the "lost notebook." Of the over 30 papers that Watson wrote on Ramanujan's work, two of his last papers were de- voted to Ramanujan's mock theta functions, which Ramanujan dis- covered in the last year of his life, which he described in a letter to Hardy only about three months before he died [51, pp. 220-223], and which are also found in the lost notebook. In these two papers, Wat- son made some conjectures about the existence of certain mock theta functions. If he had the lost notebook at that time, he would have seen that his conjectures were correct. Thus, probably sometime af- ter Watson's interest in Ramanujan's work declined in the late 1930s, Hardy passed Ramanujan's papers to Watson. In early 1988, just after the centenary of Ramanujan's birth, Narosa Publishing House in New Delhi published a photocopy edition of the lost notebook [194]. Included in this publication are partial manuscripts, loose papers, and fragments by Ramanujan, as well as letters from Ramanujan to Hardy written from nursing homes during the last two years of Ramanujan's sojourn in England.
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