Drake Petersen, University of King’s College librarian and archivist, died 17 October 2012.
Drake was with us at King’s for 42 years, starting as the don of Middle Bay in 1970. He arrived here from the United States as a young graduate student in classics. During his time as don, he worked as a cataloguer for the King’s library and earned his MA in Greek literature.
As university librarian and archivist, Drake worked tirelessly to preserve and catalogue the treasures of the university’s rare book and manuscript collection and to create a professionally managed archives. The comfortable chairs, carpets, and welcoming atmosphere we all enjoy in the library are Drake’s touches.
At the Annual Alumni Dinner in May 2012, Drake was inducted into the Order of the Ancient Commoner for his selfless service to the university. In his presentation to Drake, Dr Henry Roper said “In giving so much to the institution that he took to his heart over forty years ago, Drake has exemplified the spirit of King’s, a spirit of service to which, according to the college motto, Deo, Regi, Legi, Gregi, we are all called as King’s men and women.”
Always a generous supporter of King’s, Drake recently set up the Henry Drake Petersen Endowment for the University of King’s College Archives and donated his personal papers and records to the King’s archives. One of Drake’s last acts was to donate his collection of classics texts to the Department of Classics library.