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Macnaghten Library



Administrative / Biographical history

Eugen John Henry Vanderstegen Millington-Drake was born on 26 February 1889 and died in Rome on 12 December 1972. He came to Eton in summer 1901, boarding with Hugh Macnaghten who was also his tutor. After leaving Eton in summer 1908 he went to Magdalen College, Oxford, obtaining a 2nd in Modern History in 1912. The same year he entered the Diplomatic Service, being posted in 1913 to St. Petersburg and in 1915 to Buenos Aires. His work as a diplomat meant that he was not called up for military service but many of his friends and fellow-members of Macnaghten’s house were killed and it was in their memory, and that of his old tutor, who died in 1929, that he presented to Eton his carefully collected library of books relating to the Great War. With immense labour (and making much use of his diplomatic contacts) he persuaded almost all the authors to sign their work and often to add a suitable inscription. The volumes were specially bound using a colour code he devised to indicate their subject, and housed in the room which had formerly housed the Myers Collection of Egyptian Antiquities. Millington-Drake not only fitted out the new library but also provided a new room for the displaced antiquities. The architect was Edmond Warre. Colin Macmillan was employed to arrange the books and effectively act as Librarian of the Collection, which was formally presented to the College in December 1938.


1921 - 1940

Content description

These records relate mainly to the acquisition, arrangement and transfer of the Macnaghten Library, eg the obtaining of signatures, the cataloguing of the books, and the opening.

Associated material

ED 408; material at Churchill College, Cambridge and Canning Institute. There is a printed catalogue of the Cambridge material.

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