Guest post #2: Hilary James reflects on music at MERL

Hilary James approached MERL over four years ago about the possibility of bringing folk music to the Museum, and with the obvious connections between English folk music and our collections, we welcomed the idea of a series of concerts, workshops and talks set against the backdrop of the Museum. As we prepare for ‘A Day […]

Research tip #2: a secret MERL library resource …

Although they are known as the Classified Information Files, the MERL library’s collection of cuttings does not contain top secret information and is not kept under lock and key either, but is freely available for readers to browse in the Special Collections Service reading room! The collection contains articles and cuttings from local and national […]

Our Country Lives: Supporting You Day

written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer for Our Country Lives. My mind has been focused on one particular question since arriving at MERL: how do you display rural life? Other equally pertinent questions for us are: Who is our audience? How can we appeal to wider groups? What is the core message of the Museum […]

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 […]

Focus on collections #2: Collecting your #muscake (and eating it!)

Sit back with a cup of tea and a piece of cake (of course) and take a few minutes to read this fascinating post by Assistant Curator, Dr Ollie Douglas, on the little known cake-related collections at MERL (and elsewhere)… Here at the Museum we’ve been eating rather a lot of cake. The frenetic activity […]

My favourite object #1: a Yattendon Guild copperware vase

The first in our series of favourite objects chosen by MERL staff, volunteers and visitors, is written by Fiona Melhuish, MERL Librarian. In my work with the Special Collections rare books and MERL library I get lots of opportunities to spotlight my favourite items from our wonderful book collections through exhibitions and Featured Items on […]

Picture of the Month #1: The John Tarlton Collection

written by Caroline Benson, Photographic Assistant. The current temporary exhibition at MERL features the work of the photographer John Tarlton. This wonderful collection came to the museum in 2004 and  now, on the completion of the Rural Images Discovered Project,  we are ready to promote its full commercial potential. These two photographs showing domestic scenes […]

Volunteers' Voice #2: National Volunteers Week

written by Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator. The year has swung round once again and it is already National Volunteers Week. Every year from 1st – 7th June organisations who work with, involve or are entirely volunteer-run, celebrate all the hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and laughter that volunteers bring. I believe it is important to recognise […]

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