SUTTON, Profesor John (1919-1992)

Scope and Content

Papers of Professor John Sutton, 1910-1995, comprising biographical material, including obituaries and reminiscences of Sutton; papers relating to Sutton's childhood and schooldays, undergraduate studies, wartime service, his honours; family papers, notably his father Gerald John Sutton, an engineer and inventor, including patents, 1928-1958; photographs of Sutton, some with Janet Watson; notebooks, 1940-1992, comprising geological field notebooks, [1940-1969], containing observations, sketches and plans and lists of specimens, some with notes by Janet Watson; notebooks recording work in Greenland, 1965-1969; notes on proceedings of conferences and sketches of scenery, plants and people, and geological phenomena, many from visits overseas, [1965]-1992; notes and drafts relating to publications or work intended for publication, [1935-1992]; papers relating to visits and conferences including visits to China; correspondence, notably with Edward Battersby Bailey, Michael J Fleuty, Arthur Holmes, John Lawrence Knill, John Graham Ramsay, Herbert Harold Read, principally two sequences of letters, 1948-1960, 1961-1992, including papers for conferences, from societies and organisations; maps, figures, photographs, films and an audio tape.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born Bedford Park, West London, 1919; educated at King's School, Worcester; read geology at Imperial College, 1937-1941; Second World War service included a posting to the Orkneys working on radar; returned to Imperial College for his PhD; worked with Janet Vida Watson (they married in 1949), on the Lewisian Gneiss and other geological problems, co-authoring a number of important papers; Lecturer, 1948; Reader, 1956; Professor of Geology, 1958; Head of Department, 1964-1974, whilst it became one of the largest in Europe, largely responsible for the establishment of the Centre for Environmental Technology (first Chairman and a Senior Research Fellow), and the Centre for Remote Sensing; Dean of the Royal School of Mines (part of Imperial College), 1965-1968, 1974-1977; elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1966; President of the Geologists' Association 1966-1968; Vice-President of the Royal Society, 1975-1977; Trustee of the British Museum (Natural History), 1976-1981; member of the Natural Environment Research Council 1977-1979; Pro-Rector of Imperial College, 1979-1983; died, 1992. Publications: The Geologist's Approach to Mountain Building London, 1959); Further Observations on the Margin of the Laxfordian Complex of the Lewisian near Loch Laxford, Sutherland, etc with Janet Watson (Edinburgh, 1962)

Access Information

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the College Archivist, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, for an appointment.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath, to the College Archives in 1998.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available in the reading room of the College Archives (NCUACS catalogue no 75/4/98).

Separated Material

Papers and correspondence of Janet Watson (1923-1985), geologist, Sutton's first wife and scientific collaborator, held at the Library of the Geological Society of London (reference: GB 378 LDGSL 1078); research papers of Janet Watson, held by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, Imperial College.

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Custodial History

The papers were received by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath, from Mrs Betty Sutton, second wife and widow, in 1996 and 1998.

Related Material

Records of the Department of Geology (KG) and Governing Body (GB), held at Imperial College.

Geographical Names