William Wells Newell (1839 - 1907) was an American folklorist, school teacher, minister and philosophy professor.
Newell was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After trying his hand at ministry, he was a faculty member at the new philosophy department at Harvard University for a few years. However, the bulk of Newell's career was as a school teacher. Newell founded the American Folklore Society in 1888 where he edited the Journal of American Folklore. His best known work is Games and Songs of American Children (1883, Mineola, N. Y.). The songs included tunes with the lyrics, and is the first collection of folk music of American children.
The American Folklore Society's Children's Folklore Section awards the annual W. W. Newell Prize, which is presented for the best student essay.