Guest post: My year in the Harris Garden by Jenny Halstead

Our first guest post is by Jenny Halstead, whose exhibition, An artist’s year in the Harris Garden opened at MERL last week. Jenny is a local artist who spent a year as Artist in Residence at the University of Reading’s beautiful Harris Garden.  The resulting exhibition showcases the paintings and sketchbook studies which take us […]

OCL at the Village Fete 2013

written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer for Our Country Lives. The MERL Village Fete is only a few days away, and we are already preparing our hi-vis jackets, gazebos, bunting and scones, as well as harnessing an army of volunteers and staff to ensure everything runs smoothly. The focus of this year’s Fete is on rural crafts and […]

Focus on Collections: These wheels were made for rolling…

written by Felicity McWilliams, Project Officer for A Sense of Place, Countryside21, and Reading Connections. ‘Focus on Collections’ will be a regular feature examining our staff’s favourite objects in the museum, as well as anything interesting we find during research. Visitors to MERL will know that the wagons form a large part of the current […]

5 minutes with… Stuart McKie

Written by Alison Hilton, MERL Marketing Officer This week I have managed to catch Stuart McKie,  our Admin and Operations Assistant, on a rare moment when he’s not running around the museum preparing for an event or showing visitors round. Stuart has only been in this particular role for two months, but he’s been involved […]

MERL and the Great British Sewing Bee

written by Claire Smith, Visitor Services Assistant & Learning Assistant Did you watch the Great British Sewing Bee? I’ll admit that I was sceptical at first, not being a fan of “reality” television, but I have to confess I’ve been glued to every episode, and was delighted to see Ann’s years of experience win her […]

5 mins with…Judith Moon

written by Alison Hilton, Marketing Officer This weekly series of interviews with MERL staff will focus on the day to day work of everyone involved in one way or another with the Our Country Lives project. As the project picks up momentum, more and more of what goes on behind the scenes will be about […]

Volunteers' Voice #1 – Introducing Rob and the MERL volunteers!

written by Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator. Hello and welcome to my first post. I’m Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator at MERL. I have been working with volunteers for the past four years in various organisations, from community radio stations to museums. I work with volunteers across UMASCS (University of Reading’s Museums and Special Collections Service) which consists […]

Craft Collections and Craft Connections

Written by Greta Bertram, Project Officer for A Sense of Place and Countryside21. MERL has a fantastic array of traditional craft products and tools in its collections, from such crafts as blacksmithing, wood turning, carpentry, lacemaking, leatherwork, pottery, stonemasonry, straw crafts, and wheelwrighting (plus many many more!). Many of these objects are on display in the Museum’s […]

MERL project news #1 – Hugh Sinclair papers now available

written by Hayley Whiting, Hugh Sinclair Project Archivist The papers of Dr Hugh Macdonald Sinclair DM, DSc, FRCP (1910-90) are now available at MERL.  This marks the end of nearly five years of work by me, the Hugh Sinclair Project Archivist. It has been a very interesting, challenging, and rewarding project funded by the Hugh […]

Research tip #1: if in doubt…

Here is the first in what we will become a regular series on the blog – research tips from the MERL library and archive team. Trying to find out about collections can be a difficult and frustrating business. Our online catalogues and finding aids are now very large and while it’s great to have so […]

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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

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road

    Reading

    RG1 5EX

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