51 Voices: Work, work, work

This January, The MERL embarked on 51 Voices, a new year-long project celebrating the museum’s seventieth anniversary in 2021. Throughout the year, we will be working with a range of writers, artists and different communities to give contemporary voice to fifty-one objects and archives in The MERL collection connected in myriad ways to our founding […]

Uncovering LGBTQ+ rural histories in archives

Join The MERL’s Collections Researcher Tim Jerrome as he shares the challenges he faced in finding the lives and stories of LGBTQ+ people in our archive for our July 2021 exhibition: Queer Constellations. Please be aware that this post contains terminology used to describe LGBTQ+ people in the past, and may be offensive or upsetting […]

Temporary reading room move – September 2021

Between 31 August and 24 September 2021, the reading room will be moving to the Conference Room to make way for essential maintenance work. The Conference Room is located above the current reading room and can be accessed via the staircase or lift from the locker room. Closure days During this period, however, we will […]

Wild Being: supporting social prescribing in Reading

On the 15th July, Reading Voluntary Action (RVA) is launching Wild Being, a new social prescribing project in Reading. Both The MERL and Reading Museum (as Museums Partnership Reading) are proud and delighted to be involved. In this blog, join our Learning and Engagement Manager, Phillippa Heath, as she introduces Wild Being, explains what we […]

Our agricultural museum goes intergalatic (or global, at least)

Written by Dr Ollie, Douglas, Curator of The MERL Collections. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Forty-five years ago, as George Lucas started to film the stellar tale of an intergalactic farm-boy’s struggle against an evil empire, here in Reading things were also hotting up. In some ways, quite literally. Perhaps […]

51 Voices: A growing understanding

This January, The MERL embarked on 51 Voices, a new year-long project celebrating the museum’s seventieth anniversary in 2021. Throughout the year, we will be working with a range of writers, artists and different communities to give contemporary voice to fifty-one objects and archives in The MERL collection connected in myriad ways to our founding year. […]

Queer Constellations: an interview with Daniel Baker

From the 6th July, two artworks by Daniel Baker, Copse and Canopy, will go on display at The MERL as part of our latest display, Queer Constellations. Daniel is a Romani Gypsy born in Kent: an artist, curator and theorist, he holds a PhD on the subject of Gypsy aesthetics from the Royal College of […]

‘Why Travelling Matters?’ Engaging schools with our migration stories

Written by Phillippa Heath, Learning and Engagement Manager at The MERL. As part of Traveller’s History Month, we have been sharing MERL collections which connect with the histories of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. These fascinating collections, spanning objects, archives, photography, art and library collections, tell us so much about the importance of GRT heritage […]

People and Places: why The MERL is taking part in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

Throughout June, The MERL is celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month. Running since 2008, this month celebrates ‘the remarkable and immense contributions Gypsy, Roma and Traveller individuals and communities bring to wider society’. Its aim is to help tackle prejudice, challenge myths and amplify the voices of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. To some readers, it […]

  • Visit us

    Visit Us

    We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to The MERL galleries from Tuesday 18th May.

    Free admission. Please book a timed slot.

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road

    Reading

    RG1 5EX

    Book now