Interview with Reading Room Assistant Ceri (Pt. 1)

Marketing Volunteer Whitney continues her series of interviews with staff talking to Ceri Lumley, Reading Room Assistant What does your job entail at MERL? I’m split between working in the reading room and doing background tasks. Three days of the week I’m down in the reading room answering enquiries, doing production, getting documents out and […]

Interview with Art Collections Officer, Part 1

Volunteer, Whitney continues her series of interviews with members of staff with a chat with Jacqueline Winston-Silk, Art Collections Officer, about her role. Can you give me a little background of the work you do here at MERL? I am based at the Museum and employed by the University of Reading. I manage the University’s Art Collections […]

An Interview with: Nitisha (Part 2: Conservation)

Following last week’s interview with Nitisha about her work in the Special Collections archives, this week Whitney talks to her about her first role in conservation here at MERL. 1. What made you get involved with conservation? I started volunteering with Fred the Conservator here in the Conservation studio because I wanted to explore conservation. I […]

An interview with: Rob Davies

Our volunteer Whitney has been exploring museum roles lately and spent a few minutes chatting to Volunteer Co-ordinator Rob Davies… 1. What is your job? I have two roles. The first is to look after the volunteers and my other role is to work on the activity plan which involves engaging with different communities around […]

Explore Your Archive: Interview with Guy Baxter, University Archivist

Whitney, our marketing volunteer, has been continuing her exploration of the world of archives in an interview with University Archivist, Guy Baxter… What is your job title and what do you do within the museum? I’m the University archivist. I’m responsible for the University’s archive collections. Most of the archives I look after are the ones […]

Explore Your Archive: Interview with our Photographic Assistant

Continuing her exploration of the world of archiving, Whitney talks to Photographic Assistant, Caroline Benson about her role. 1. What is your specific role within archiving and what aspects interest you the most? My role is Photographic Assistant and I deal with all the photographic inquiries and income generation. I licence images for use in books, […]

Explore Your Archive: Interview with an archivist

We asked Whitney, one of our volunteers, to find out about the different roles carried out by archivists at MERL and the Special Collections. She started by interviewing Cataloguing and Projects Archivist, Sharon Maxwell, who joined us just a couple of months ago. What does cataloguing entail? I’m trying to make the collections accessible to the public. Collections […]

Gerry Westall

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of our longest serving volunteer, Gerry Westall, who passed away peacefully shortly before Christmas. A former employee of Sutton’s Seeds and a well-known local historian, Gerry brought an enormous depth of expertise and knowledge to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) during […]

5 mins with…Claire Smith

Claire Smith is our Learning  Assistant and part of our Visitor Services team, so if you’ve been to MERL recently, you will probably have met her! This week she’s been busy preparing for the school holidays, and has learnt a new skill… What have you been working on this week? This week I’ve been working […]

5 minutes with… Rhi Smith

Rhi Smith is the Director of Museum Studies. She teaches our new undergraduate degree course, which students can combine with Classics or Archaeology, starting at Reading this Autumn. Find out about what she’s being doing this week in the run up to the University’s Open Days…. What have you been doing this week? I’ve just […]

  • Visit us

    Visit Us

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

    Free Admission

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road


    RG1 5EX

    Plan my visit