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Collections and Heritage

2013/14 Academic Year Report

Over the centuries the College has acquired a considerable heritage of fine buildings. Their preservation is regarded as fundamental for the enrichment of the education that we provide. For the same reason we conserve and augment our collections of manuscripts, books, art and artefacts. They are used extensively for teaching purposes, made available as a valuable resource to external scholars and regularly exhibited at Eton as well as loaned to museums and galleries around the UK and abroad.

College Library is one of the most important rare book collections in the country. The library holds regular exhibitions of its material and welcomes students, researchers and scholars from a variety of institutions, including schools, universities and special interest groups.

The College Collections have developed a number of programmes for school children visiting Eton in school groups, including a Tudor Trail and sessions with a focus on the Great War. Over 400 children have taken part in these programmes over the past year. The College Collections also run termly after school clubs for children and Family Learning Events, most recently on the theme of Costumes & Heraldry. The Verey Gallery has held three exhibitions in 2013/14: an exhibition of drawings from the College's Topham Collection, John Piper and Brian Clarke Art or Anti-Art and Hughie O'Donoghue's Seven Halts on the Somme. These exhibitions have been included in our programme of outreach activities, for example teachers and students from primary and secondary schools are invited to openings and artist talks, and the Verey Gallery is open to the public by appointment.

The Myers Collection of Egyptian antiquities is one of the world's finest private collections of Egyptian Art. Part of the Collection has now been lent until 2025 to the University of Birmingham and to Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, for exhibition, teaching and cataloguing, as well as digitisation with a view to providing internet access. In 2015, the Collection at Eton will move into its new home, The Jafar Gallery (currently under construction on the Bekynton Field site). We also take items from the Myers Collection into local schools for study days.

Our Natural History Museum (Eton's hidden gem) has delivered tailored outreach activities for about twenty local schools, both primary and secondary and is now open to the public on Sundays.  In addition, it runs a programme of family learning events with the Clewer Cluster of schools in Windsor which provide natural history related events for young children (incredible Insects, Dinosaur Event, Reptile Rendezvous, The Secret Life of Birds). Over 3,000 people have visited the Museum during 2013/14. It is an accredited learning destination for Slough Children's University.The Museum is an outreach partner with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Royal Holloway University of London and Chelsea Physic Garden. 

We also allow access to television broadcasters making educational documentaries. During the year, filming has taken place at Eton for Gardeners' World.

We are responsible for the upkeep of 78 Listed Buildings including our Chapel. We share in the Patronage of 16 parish churches and have chancel repair responsibilities for 10.