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William Steadman Aldis papers.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-A-1

Scope and Contents

Collection comprises a scrapbook compiled by Amy Aldis who pasted ephemera, letters, photographs, and a biography of her father, into a roll book recording attendance and marks for mathematics classes held in 1892 and 1893 at Auckland University College.


  • 1858 - 1928


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted

Biographical / Historical

Willaim Steadman Aldis (1839-1928) the son of the Rev. John Aldis, a Baptist minister, was born in Southwark, London in 1839.

He was educated at the City of London School and entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1858. He was senior wrangler there in 1861. He remained at Cambridge as a private tutor in mathematics for some years until 1870, when he was appointed to a professorship at the College of Newcastle-on-Tyne, of which he eventually became principal.

In 1883, Aldis was appointed Professor of Mathematics at Auckland University College after the untimely death of the first Professor, George Francis Walker in a boating accident. His term there ended in 1894 as the result of a difference with the Council, and he returned to England in 1897, spending some years at Oxford as an examiner for the universities.

Aldis married Mary Robinson in 1863, the daughter of a Baptist minister, the couple had one son and two daughters. Aldis was a devout Baptist and lay preacher, with a keen interest in politics and social work. He was a leading advocate for the higher education of women, and his books on Solid Geometry and Optics were standard works for many years. He died in 1928 at Tenterden, Kent, where he had resided since his retirement.

Biographical / Historical

Amy Letitia Aldis was the youngest of William and Mary Aldis' three children was born in 1868 in Cambridgeshire, England. She came to New Zeland with her family in 1884 and attended Auckland University College where her father taught mathematics. Her name also appears on the 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition. Interested in global politics she wrote many letters to New Zealand newspapers even after she returned to England on topics ranging from the situation in Russia in 1893, South African refugees in 1900 to Czech refugees in 1938. She died in Oxford, England in March 1947.


0.03 metres (1 folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Professor Aldis' daughter, Miss Amy. L. Aldis in 1940.

Related Materials

The Auckland Public Library holds 16 letters from Professor Aldis to Sir George Grey written between 1885 and 1897 as part of Grey New Zealand Letters - GLNZ A4.



Inventory of the papers of William Steadman Aldis.
Mrs R. Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • February 2012.: Input into the Archivists' Toolkit by Samantha Salisbury
  • June 2022: Inventory updated by Katherine Pawley

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand