Professor Lily Newton Papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 982 LW
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English, German, French, Swedish.
  • Physical Description
      0.19 cubic metres

Scope and Content

The fonds contains Professor Lily Newton's research material on pollution levels in the River Rheidol and Nant-y-Moch reservoir, Cardiganshire, Wales; her work on the submerged forest at Borth and Ynyslas, Cardiganshire, and the notes of F N Campbell-James, upon which her work was based; and a large number of printed scientific journals collected by herself and by the University of Wales Botany Department.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lily Newton, was born on the 26th of January 1893. She was educated at Colston's Girls School, Bristol and then attended the University of Bristol.

In 1919, Newton became an assistant lecturer in Botany at her former University. The following year, she took up a lectureship in Botany at Birkbeck College, University of London, where she remained until 1923. This was followed by a period as a research worker in natural history at the Imperial College of Science and the British Museum.

In 1925, she married William Charles Frank Newton, but was widowed only two years later. 1928 saw Newton move to Aberystwyth, taking a post as a lecturer in botany at the University of Wales. By 1930, she was the University's Professor of Botany.

Newton became Vice-Principal of the University of Wales in 1951, and in 1952 took on the role of Acting Principle, which she held until the September of the following year. The University of Wales, Aberystwyth made Newton an Emeritus Professor in 1959, and she received an Honorary LLD from the University of Wales in 1973.

Beyond her academic career, Newton held the presidency of various societies, including Section K of the British Association, 1949; the British Phycological Society, 1955-7, and the UK Federation for Education in Home Economics, 1957-63.

Newton published widely on plant distribution and seaweeds, and her work has appeared in a number of academic journals. She also undertook research work pertaining to the pollution problems of the River Rheidol, Cardiganshire. She died at her Swansea home on the 26th of March 1981.

Access Information

The papers may be consulted through application by e-mail to: or by post to: Aberystwyth University, Archives, Information Services, Llandinam Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DB. Tel: 01970 628593.


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to Who Was Who, Vol.VIII, 1981-90, (London: A and C Black, 1981).

Other Finding Aids

Basic finding aid available on request from Archives staff.