Reading Walks Festival: Mindful Museum Walk

a person walks down a wooded path in the MERL garden

Join us as part of Reading Walks Festival 2023 We are delighted to be taking part in the first ever Reading Walks Festival. We are offering two gentle, accessible walks in and around the museum and its immediate surroundings on campus. This one, with Saranjit Birdi takes place in the MERL garden and galleries, and […]

Reading Walks Festival: Five Ways to Wellbeing Nature Walk

a path leading to a bench in immersed in greenery in the herb garden at The MERL

Join us as part of Reading Walks Festival 2023 We are delighted to be taking part in the first ever Reading Walks Festival. We are offering two gentle, accessible walks in and around the museum and its immediate surroundings on campus. The first is this Five Ways to Wellbeing Nature Walk, and the second is […]

An Afternoon at the Museum

someone playing a board game from the MERL collection with sheep and sheepdog figures

New informal sessions perfect for anyone wanting a change of scene or the opportunity to socialise with others in the unique environment of The MERL. These drop-in sessions are aimed at adults including care-givers and loved ones, supported by friendly museum staff and volunteers. In the welcoming environment of the museum there will be various […]

Sew What?

A Singer sewing machine from The MERL's Barnett collection
We are all starting to ask more questions about fashion. Where do our clothes come from? How environmentally sustainable are they? Should we be making more and buying less? These questions are not just relevant to our modern society. The history of garment making is one deeply intertwined with British culture, both rural and urban. [...]

In Conversation with Bill Hooks

A small bill hook with a wooden handle lying on top of a larger blade

This display in the Digging Deeper gallery at The MERL links to a collaborative recent project between artist Alice Blackstock and designer/maker Philip Crewe that investigated a bladed tool called a billhook. The 2019 collaboration was initiated by a visit to the extensive collections of The MERL and developed into the creation of five object […]

(POSTPONED) Archives, History and Memory in Memoir Writing

Spines of books of WHS press cuttings and an inset of the front cover of Inventory of a Life Mislaid by Marina Warner
Cover design by Sophie Herxheimer Please note that this event has been postponed. We will update this page as soon as a new date has been arranged.   Join writer and academic Marina Warner as she discusses drawing on archives and the interweaving of history and memory in memoir-writing. Dame Professor Marina Warner CH, DBE, [...]

A History of English Georgic Writing

A black and white photo by John Tarlton showing a man riding two white heavy horses across a field with a hayrick in the background
This event launches A History of English Georgic Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2022), a historical survey of the literature of rural working lives and landscapes. This important new book argues that the skilled labour of people and animals in farming communities, and the land as it is understood through that work, is one of English [...]

Conservation for Wellbeing: Kintsugi Binding

Kintsugi is a traditional and longstanding Japanese method of object repair that visibly accentuates and enhances the damage an item has sustained to create a new, equally beautiful object. These sessions will explore the wellbeing that can come from conservation and participants will have the opportunity to take a book of their choice that is [...]

Among the Trees

Close up of leaves from oaktree detail from a Michael O'Connell wallhanging at The MERL

This exhibition in the Staircase Hall, Community Case and MERL galleries explores the complex relationship between humans and trees. Using the MERL and Special Collections it examines treescapes and themes of folklore, myth, craft, outdoor learning, and wellbeing. It has been designed by third year Museum Studies students at the University of Reading in collaboration […]

Japanese Stitching Workshop

thread, fabric, scissors and a template laid out for japanese shashiko mending
Learn formal pattern sashiko and boro-inspired mending in this day-long Japanese craft workshop. Morning session: Moyozashi Sashiko (2.5 hours) Sashiko, meaning ‘little stab’ is the Japanese art of stitching beautiful patterns using running stitch. This class covers formal pattern sashiko. Often used to add strength, texture and warmth to old garments, Sashiko has become synonymous [...]

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