Catalogue description Papers of Denis Gascoigne Lillie

This record is held by Wellcome Collection

Details of MSS.3259-3285 and 5252-5254
Reference: MSS.3259-3285 and 5252-5254
Title: Papers of Denis Gascoigne Lillie

MSS.3259-3285 comprise chiefly scientific material; they include student notebooks on zoology, botany and geology (MSS.3259-3280); scientific logs from the British Antarctic Expedition (MSS.3281-3283, specifically a biological log (MSS.3281-3282) and a log of whales sighted (MS.3283), both spanning 1910-1913; an address delivered in 1913 to the New Zealand branch of the British Medical Association on Mendel's principle of heredity (MS.3284); and some notes on fish and fishing (MS.3285). MSS.5252-5254 comprise more personal and more miscellaneous material. MS.5252 is a scrapbook kept by Lillie, containing news cuttings, photographs and miscellaneous papers, spanning the period c.1845-1910 and including cuttings (with portrait prints) on science and scientists, 1845-1901; caricatures by Lillie of lecturers and staff at Birmingham University, 1904-1905; geological photographs, 1907-1909; family photographs (including a group class portrait at United Services' College, Westward Ho!, c.1892); and ephemera from Cambridge, 1909-1910. MS.5253 comprises cuttings from newspapers and illustrated magazines, spanning 1910-1914 and mainly relating to Robert Falcon Scott's British Antarctic Expedition. Finally MS.5254 comprises correspondence and very miscellaneous papers from the period 1824-1938 (plus some undated material) among them letters to his grandfather John Lillie D.D. (1806-1866), and to his maternal relatives the Macaire family, and letters to Lillie from E.A.N. Arber, Caroline Oates and others.

Date: 1824-1915

There is a broad division between MSS.3259-3285, comprising chiefly scientific material, and MSS.5252-5254, comprising more personal and more miscellaneous material. Items in the former block are arranged in chronological order of composition. The arrangement of the latter is: MS.5252, scrapbook kept by Lillie; MS.5253, loose cuttings kept by Lillie; MS.5254, very miscellaneous correspondence and papers kept by Lillie but including material relevant to earlier generations of his family.

Related material:

MSS.3286-3287 comprise lectures on science delivered in Hobart and Launceston, Tasmania, by Lillie's grandfather, John Lillie D.D. (1806-1866).

Held by: Wellcome Collection, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Lillie, Denis Gascoigne, 1888-1963, biologist

Physical description: 30 items (volumes, files or bundles of papers)
Physical condition: volumes and loose papers; holograph and printed cuttings.
Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased at Stevens' London, February 1935 (accession no.68563).

  • Geology
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Ocean exploration
  • Geographical exploration
Unpublished finding aids:

Described in: S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973) and Richard Palmer, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Wellcome Library for the History & Understanding of Medicine: Western Manuscripts 5120-6244 (London: The Wellcome Library for the History & Understanding of Medicine, 1999).

Administrative / biographical background:

Denis Gascoigne Lillie was born in 1888. He studied zoology at Birmingham University and at St. John's College, Cambridge, in the years 1903-1910. In 1910 he was appointed marine zoologist to the British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912). He died in 1963.

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