Weekly What's On: 27th Jan to 2nd Feb

You can find full details of all our forthcoming events and activities in our What’s On and MERL Families guides, which are now available from the Museum or to download from our website You can also see all events on our online calendar

PrintMERL Seminar series: Untouchable England
The Full English: unlocking hidden treasures of England’s cultural heritage
Malcolm Taylor, Library Director, English Folk Dance and Song Society
Tuesday 28th January, 1pm
Malcom Tayor will explore how the digitisation and cataloguing of the archive of early twentieth century English folk arts manuscripts has been enhanced through rich programmes of community engagement and creativity.
For full details of the series, visit our website

Followed by a ‘pop-up’ display of related items from the MERL collections in the object store.

Rural reads library booksRural Reads book club
Thursday 30th January, 5.30-7pm
This month the book club will be talking about Lorna Doone by Richard Doddridge. Come along and join in the informal discussion over a cup of tea and a biscuit (£1.50)! Everyone’s welcome! Don’t worry if you haven’t read the book, we often digress, and you can also bring along your suggestion for next month’s ‘rural read’. For details, and a list of all previous books, visit the Rural Reads web page

magic carpetToddler time
Friday 31st January, 10-11am,
£2 per child, drop-in
Suitable for families with children aged 2-4
Come along to the Museum with your little ones and enjoy rhymes, songs and craft activities.  

Collecting the countryside: 20th century rural cultures
Temporary exhibition space
Free, drop in, normal museum opening times
Since 2008 the Museum of English Rural Life has been adding even more objects to its collection, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme, in order to represent each decade of the last century. (Find out more in Curator, Isabel Hughes’ recent post) This exhibition gives a taste of what has been acquired and challenges visitors to suggest the modern-day objects that the Museum needs to collect for the future. The exhibition will help the Museum to explore how to incorporate more recent histories and representations of the English countryside into its displays as part of the new Our Country Lives project.

Peril-and-Adventure-William-St-Clair-collection-768x1024Book jackets in the University of Reading Special Collections
Staircase hall, MERL
Free, drop-in, normal museum opening times
This display celebrates the wide variety of beautiful book jackets within our collections, through a selection of our most colourful favourites!  Read more on the Special Collections blog

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    The Museum is now fully open, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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    The Museum of English Rural Life

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    Redlands Road


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