As part of an effort to encourage object-based learning at Eton, CIRL organised a visit from Dr Jen Thum, Associate Director of Academic Engagement at Harvard University’s Art Museums. Over the course of three very busy days, Dr Thum met with beaks, boys, and Collections staff, as well as classes from Holyport and the London Academy of Excellence, to demonstrate different ways that objects can be used in the classroom. She made use of a diverse selection of objects from the Collections, including items from the photographic archive, Egyptian artefacts from the Antiquities, manuscripts from College Library and a wide variety of pieces of Fine & Decorative Art.
Family Learning Event
Eighty-five children and adults visited the Natural History Museum for a Family Learning Event on the theme of Shakespeare’s creatures, inspired by the 400th anniversary of the printing of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Visitors made accordion bears, tried their hand at writing with a quill pen, tracked down animal-related ingredients in the witches’ cauldron in Macbeth, and tested their knowledge with some animal-themed Shakespearean puns.
Eton College Library’s collection of non-Western manuscripts has been electronically catalogued and is now available to search online. It comprises illuminated manuscripts of the Qurʾān written between the 9th and 19th centuries, examples of Persian poetry, a few Burmese manuscripts on palm leaves, an Ethiopian prayer book, a medieval Sinhala grammar, and two Chinese items. These items have joined the library collections at different times, from a Qurʾān donated to the College in 1731, to the Kammavaca, a Burmese manuscript, given to Eton in 2019.
The Archivist, along with Boy Keeper of Collections Louis, addressed morning assemblies of Year 10 and Year boys this term. Louis spoke about how he got involved through volunteering in the Fine & Decorative Art collections, and he encouraged boys to pursue their interests, both co-curricular and academic, making the most of the unique opportunity they have to access the College Collections during their time at Eton. To accompany the talk, there was a display of archive items relating to the history of the FA cup, which proved popular!