Student Spotlight #3: Lave Net

Mubariz Rabbani is a second year Archaeology student at the University of Reading. I have chosen to write about a lave fishing (pictured below) net as the fishing industry is an important part of the British economy as well as a contemporary issue, as increased fishing may result in environmental damage and may affect the […]

Student Spotlight #2: Man Traps

Henrik Yau is a second year Archaeology student at the University of Reading, who chose to research our Man Traps because they caught his eye, because they looked dangerous and he had no prior knowledge of them. I’ve always loved going to museums. Looking at vast collection of objects always excited me as a child, […]

Student Spotlight #1: Veterinary Medicine Box

This is the first in a series of blog posts focusing on particular objects, researched by University of Reading Archaeology students as part of their course. Kelly van Doorn is a second year BA Archaeology and Ancient History student at the University of Reading. On completion of her degree, she hopes to take up a master’s […]

Focus on Collections #4: Tools & Trade History Society Library

written by Tony Waldis, the Librarian of the Tools and Trades History Society (TATHS) Library, a special collection kept at MERL for use by visitors and readers. This collection reflects the encompassing knowledge of rural craft and industry kept at MERL, and which we hope to continue to pass down through our displays, outreach and events […]

Picture(s) of the month #8: Eric Guy's working horses

I noticed earlier this month that the Royal Mail has just issued a Working Horses stamp set featuring “six contemporary photographs of Working Horses performing therapeutic, ceremonial, environmental, draught and police duties” They’re beautiful stamps which immediately brought to mind the stunning photographs by Eric Guy in the MERL collections. Eric Guy (1892-1966) was a commercial photographer based in Basingstoke […]

Pictures of the month #7 – Floods in Berkshire

Photographic Assistant, Caroline Benson has selected 2 particularly topical images from our collections this month… The subject of this month’s photographs will seem all too familiar to many people living by the Thames. They show the floods of November 1895 in the riverside village of Pangbourne in Berkshire. Small boats & punts can be seen […]

Pictures of the month #6 – Canal life

Photographic Assistant, Caroline Benson has resisted the temptation to select a festive image this month, instead sharing images she discovered whilst preparing materials for an education session last month… The photographs this month are from a collection depicting canals & canal life. The two I have chosen were amongst a selection used by Philippa Heath, […]

Alfred Waterhouse and MERL

written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer for Our Country Lives. Buildings are, in most cases, more famous than their architects. Exceptions are rare, such as St Pauls’s Sir Christopher Wren, or Frank Lloyd Wright (and then my limited knowledge collapses..). One architect you may not have heard of, but whose buildings you certainly will know of, […]

Picture of the month #5: Artist in butter

Caroline Benson, MERL’s Photographic Assistant has come across a most fascinating craft (which, sadly, definitely isn’t one which will be on display at our Traditional Craft Fair!) We didn’t quite squeeze this particular ‘Picture of the month’ into October, but I think it’s worth the wait!! This month’s photographs are from a collection recently deposited […]

Project news: Rural images discovered: Colin Shaw

written by Nancy Fulford, Project Archivist. A couple of weeks ago marked the end of the Rural Images Discovered Project which has seen over 15,000 prints digitised, and many more negatives and prints catalogued from the John Tarlton, Farmers Weekly, Peter Adams and Colin Shaw photographic collections. I came to the Colin Shaw collection towards the […]

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