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Teaching displays in College Library are back!

With all the precautions required in the current circumstances, we are happy to announce that our teaching displays are back in the main library. Last week we had an enthusiastic group of science teachers exploring some treasures from our collection. The display featured a leaf from the autograph manuscript of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and other important works by Copernicus, Galilei, Newton, Versalius, Paracelsus, Boyle and Hook, among others. New displays for teachers and boys are following in the next few weeks on music, history, geography, physics and astronomy.

Collections Education is looking forward to welcoming primary students back to the museums with a busy term of in-person and virtual video teaching, which will feature sessions about Victorians, Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs and a brand-new lesson on toys.

Archives accessions

We have had a number of important accessions over the summer, including the papers of Eric Anderson (WEKA) and those of Nigel Jaques (NJTJ). WEKA’s give a clear insight into his methods of teaching and involvement in government educational policy. NJTJ’s are of a much more personal nature, containing correspondence between friends for over 60 years, humorous verses written for special occasions, and details of his life at Eton spanning more than 80 years.

With the NJTJ papers was the climbing journal of Charles R. White-Thomson, Nigel’s uncle. CRW-T arrived as a beak in 1926, a member of the Biology department. He was a keen mountaineer and his diary is a record of climbs in Switzerland and the Dolomites in the 1920s and 1930s. He was sadly killed in a climbing accident in the Alps in 1933, which also claimed the lives of 3 other masters, Hugh Edmund Elliott Howson, Edward Vere Slater, and Eric Walter Powell.

New Memorial to Provost Anderson

In August, a new memorial to Sir Eric Anderson (Head Master 1980–94; Provost 2000–09) was installed in the Ante Chapel of College Chapel. The work was designed by Ged Palmer and incorporates the Anderson coat of arms. It is intended to fit harmoniously with the existing Victorian memorials, located high on the west wall.

Repairing an Early 18th-Century Frame

In 2019, the FDA collection sent a damaged frame to the City and Guilds of London Art School, to become a project for a final year student frame conservator. The frame selected belongs to the portrait of Henry Bland (Provost 1732–46), normally on display in Election Hall.

Moulds were created of the surviving elements and used these to re-cast missing pieces of the frame. The replacement parts were then water gilded and toned to match the original. The student’s work in transforming the presentation of the frame was awarded the Michael Legg Conservation Studies Prize for ‘Excellence in Research’.

Record number of Visitors to our Museum and Galleries

This summer we have had a high number of visitors to our Sunday openings of the three Museums and The Verey gallery. The current exhibition, Six Centuries of Food & Dining at Eton College has been a particular highlight with 385 visitors in July and August. The Eton Information Centre has been a driving force to promoting our spaces and our staff have been busy sharing their knowledge and providing an informative and enjoyable experience to those visiting. All our spaces will be open in September and we are also participating in the Windsor Festival