The Sir Eric Neal Collection contains reports, personal papers, correspondence, programs, invitations, photographs, books and other documents. The collection includes books from the 1860s on gas and engineering which were inherited from Sir Eric's father.
Sir Eric Neal worked as an engineer before becoming a board member of several companies including Boral, John Fairfax Ltd and BHP. Sir Eric was well regarded for his management skills and was recognised for his corporate leadership. He became Chief Commissioner of Sydney in the late 1980s and was the first businessman to be appointed to the office of Governor of South Australia in 1996.
Sir Eric Neal has been recognised for his significant contribution to Australian business. He received a knightship in 1982 and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1988. In 1992 he was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. He was named Australian Business Magazine's Businessman of the Year in 1987.
While serving as the Governor of South Australia, Sir Eric led trade missions to the Shan Dong province of China, Malaysia, Sweden and the United States of America.
Following his retirement as Governor in 2001, Sir Eric was Chancellor of Flinders University until 2010. He was chair of the South Australian Government Road Safety Advisory Council between 2003 and 2011 and has chaired the South Australian Veterans' Advisory Council since 2009.