Collections and Heritage
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 books and works of art, using them for teaching purposes, making them available as a valuable resource to external scholars and, increasingly, mounting exhibitions which are open to the public.
College Library - one of the most important rare book collections in the country – is available to outside scholars. The library holds regular exhibitions of its material and organises specialist guided tours.
College Collections - a number of programmes for school children visiting Eton in school groups have been developed, including a Tudor Trail. Over 300 children have taken part in these programmes over the past year. The College Collections also run Family Learning Events, most recently on the theme of Costumes & Heraldry. The Verey Gallery has held three exhibitions since 2011: two by Antony Gormley and Sean Scully; the final one being an exhibition of drawings from the College's Topham Collection. These exhibitions have been included in our programme of outreach activities, and the Gallery is open to the public.
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 2014, 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 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 Rendezvou). Over 3,000 people have visited the Museum during 2012/13. 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 David Starkey's Music & Monarchy series as well as documentaries about the Plantagenets and Provost M R James.
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.The historic part of the school is shown to over 15,000 visitors a year. The Museum of Eton Life (a registered museum) is open to the public.