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Millar, Eric G.

    Full Name: Millar, Eric G.

    Other Names:

    • Eric George Millar

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1887

    Date Died: 1966

    Place Died: Bury Saint Edmunds, Suffolk, England, UK

    Home Country/ies: United Kingdom

    Subject Area(s): English (culture or style) and manuscripts (documents)

    Career(s): curators


    Scholar of English illuminated manuscripts and Keeper of Manuscripts, British Museum,1944-47. Millar’s parents were George Millar (d. 1889) and Edith Antsey (Millar). He was the nephew of Thomas Anstey Guthrie (1856-1934), a cartoonist for Punch. Millar was educated at Charterhouse and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His uncle’s friends included a bicycled riding companion, the manuscript scholar Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936). Guthrie, who went by the name of Antsey, convinced James to give his nephew an appointment at the British Museum, Department of Manuscripts in 1912. James was a cataloger for the manuscript libraries of Cambridge College and was impressed by Millar’s personal collection. At the British Museum, Millar made the friendship of another leader in manuscript studies, Sydney Cockerell. Cockerell, like Millar, an amateur collector. Millar’s work was very much a continuation of their research. In 1923 he published a facsimile edition of the Lindisfarne Gospels. His major contribution to scholarship came in publication of English Illuminated Manuscripts from the Xth to the XIIIth Century, volume one appearing in 1926. Volume two appeared in 1928. This was the first serious chronology of English manuscripts. Even the reviews of this book, notably that of Otto Homburger became scholarship in their own rights. Interspersed between these appear his Catalogue of Western Manuscripts of the Chester Beatty Collection, 1927 and 1930. Again, Millar demonstrated his careful paleographic and art-historical sensibilities. The third volume to this series was never completed. He became Deputy Director in 1932 and published the second of his facsimile editions for the British Museum, this of the Luttrell Psalter. The Rutland Psalter facsimile was issued in 1937. In 1944 he was promoted to Keeper of Manuscripts, a position he held until his retirement in 1947. At his death, his personal collection was bequeathed to the Museum where he had spent his life.

    Selected Bibliography

    English Illuminated Manuscripts from the Xth to the XIIIth Century. Paris: G. van Oest, 1926; The Lindisfarne Gospels . . . from Cotton ms. Nero D.IV in the British Museum with pages from two related manuscripts. London: British Museum, 1923; The St. Trond Lectionary: a MS from the Abbey of St. Trond. Oxford: The Roxburghe Club, 1949; The Library of A. Chester Beatty: a Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts. 2 vols. London: [Privately printed by] John Johnson at the Oxford University Press/Bernard Quaritch, 1927-1930; The Parisian Miniaturist Honoré. New York: T. Yoseloff, 1959; edited with Power, D’Arcy. Arderne, John. De arte phisicali et de cirurgia of Master John Arderne, Surgeon of Newark, dated 1412. London: J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson, 1922.


    Bazin, Germain. Histoire de l’histoire de l’art; de Vasari à nos jours. Paris: Albin Michel, 1986, p. 514; Wormald, Francis. “George Eric Millar.” The Eric George Millar Bequest of Manuscripts and Drawings 1967: a Commemorative Volume. London: British Museum, 1968, pp. 3-6; [obituary:] “Dr. E. G. Millar Expert On Medieval Manuscripts.” The Times (London) January 15, 1966; p. 10; “Dr. Eric Millar.” The Times (London). January 19, 1966, p. 14.


    "Millar, Eric G.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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