Transforming Poultry Heritage

The Poultry Club of Great Britain was founded in 1877. It is a registered charity existing to safeguard the interests of all pure and traditional breeds of poultry including chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.
The Poultry Club of Great Britain has generously provided funding to The MERL for the Transforming Poultry Heritage project in memory of Graham and Janet Starkey.

Aims of the project

The project will:

  • Engage with audiences around the theme of poultry
  • Catalogue the David Scrivener Collection
  • Proactively collect archives and publications relating to the Poultry Club of Great Britain
  • Promote academic research into poultry

The MERL is planning to engage with audiences in a variety of ways throughout the project. A Spring Chickens Family Event will be held on Sunday 13 May 2018. We will also offer a poultry keeping community traineeship, undertake relevant oral history interviews and create a poultry-themed temporary display at The MERL to celebrate the project.

The David Scrivener Collection

David Scrivener (1952 – 2015) was a well-respected author, poultry show judge and collector. The Poultry Club of Great Britain donated his collection to The MERL. The David Scrivener Collection contains a wealth of material relating to poultry keeping, health and breeding. This includes postcards, prints, journals, pamphlets, slides and books. As part of the project, the entire collection will be catalogued and made available, and selected items will be digitised.
We are actively seeking publications and archives relating to the Poultry Club of Great Britain to add to our collections at The MERL. If you have any items, please contact


In addition, as part of the project we are offering a mini-Fellowship for an academic to explore the University’s poultry-related archives and books, including the David Scrivener Collection, and produce an appropriate article and /or engagement activity. We will offer two further awards to postgraduate students for creative engagement with the Collection.