Collecting information about Braille Mathematical Notations

On 11 août 2008 by dom

After discussing with Pr G. Weber,  from Technical University of Dresden, about the various Braille Mathematical Notations that have been developed, I decided to try to gather information about these them and to publish it here: Braille Mathematical Notations.

These notations are specific codes to write Mathematical expressions in Braille. As Braille is intrinsically linear, and also because the number of symbols to display is rather large – so each of them needs several Braille characters, these expressions tend to be extremely long and difficult to handle. These specific notations use various strategies in order to reduce this length. The counterpart is that they are quite difficult to learn by users, and also, as they are based on context sensitive grammars, they are quite difficult to transcribe to mainstream Maths notation.

Pr Weber gave me the reference of the UNESCO booklet « World Braille Usage », which describes the use of Braille in all countries, in all topics (Literary, Sciences, Music…). But this booklet was based on 2 surveys conducted in 79 and 85 and is not complete. Also many countries have upgraded their codes since then. Anyway it’s a precious document to start with?

There was another reference, given to me by Pr Weber too, about a book published in 1942 by the American Printing House for the Blind and entitled « Braille mathematical notations », by Henry Martin Taylor. It seems there is an exemplary at the US Library of Congress in Washington ( If anybody knows how I could find an electronic copy of this, I would be grateful!

If you have any information which could help me, like more details or any correction of what is already there, or because you know about some other Braille Mathematical codes, please post a comment here. Thanks!

Link: Braille Mathematical Notations

5 Responses to “Collecting information about Braille Mathematical Notations”

  • Dominique,

    the AMS code is used not only in Karlsruhe and Linz, but in quite a lot of eastern european states. You can find the description of AMS at
    (in German, but easily understandable as most of it is math).

    By the way, why did you make a difference between « scientific » and « other » notations?



    • OK i’ll update the information about AMS asap.
      The difference is between Braille notations and other like HRTeX and AMS which are not specifically Braille. Lambda is there too because it’s a XML linear code with various Braille projections dependent to several

  • I too have collected many manuals on braille mathematics. I have some additional information:

    — From Greece I have a large pdf about a specially modified version of Nemeth Code which has been adopted
    — There is an Israeli code. I have the inkprint, but not the electronic copy (written by Rivka Rosenzweig)
    — I have many of the German manuals in pdf
    — There is a project underway to convert the 1972 Nemeth code book into pdf
    — My own experience is that the 1990 World Braille Usage Book is full of errers.
    — I am very interested in electronic copies of books about braille format as well

    David Holladay, Duxbury Systems —

  • Dom, are you still collecting/collating information about these codes? I found this site through Google, and it’s now quite out of date – the UEB information and British Maths Braille in particular have changed.
    Contact me if you would like more info.

    • Hi Patricia. Well it have been stuck for a too long time but now I’m back on it.
      I started to update a few things and I’d be happy to have more info from you about the British Maths Braille.
      Thank you!

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