William Lewis collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the Cambridge Iceland Expedition, 1932 (leader Brian Roberts)

Administrative / Biographical History

William Vaughan Lewis was born on 2 June 1907 in Pontypridd, Wales. He was educated at Pontypridd County Grammar School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, graduating in 1929. He was appointed a student demonstrator in the geography department, later becoming a university lecturer in geography in 1945 and fellow of Trinity College in 1949. Interested in glaciology, he joined the Cambridge Iceland Expedition (leader Brian Roberts) as seismologist and surveyor in 1932, and subsequent visits there and to Norway led him to write many papers on the physiography of glaciated regions. He participated in expeditions to Swiss glaciers and organized student expeditions to Jotunheimen in Norway. While on a visit to North America lecturing and conducting field-work, he died in a motor accident at de Witt, Iowa, on 8 June 1961.

Published work Investigation on Norwegian cirque glaciers edited by William Vaughan Lewis, Royal Geographical Society London (1960) SPRI Library Shelf (58)551.324.22


The collection is arranged chronologically

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing, London (1994) Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Polar Record volume 11 number 70 January 1962 p112 and 'William Vaughan Lewis' by James Alfred Steers in Geographical Journal volume 127 number 3 Jan-Dec 1961 p386-387

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, some of which covers the expedition. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.

Personal Names