What's your favourite?

Jonathan Brown, guest curator of our current exhibition of photography by John Tarlton, asks why we are compelled to pick a favourite. (I (Alison) have chosen mine to illlustrate his post!) What’s your favourite? One of the striking things about the exhibition of John Tarlton photographs we have on this summer is how quickly everybody […]

Our Country Lives update: MERL goes to Stockholm

written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer for Our Country Lives. One thing I never expected from working at a museum of English rural life was the opportunity to visit Sweden. However, with some Erasmus funding me and five colleagues did just that, and went to Stockholm to see one of the world’s most successful open air […]

Is the future of MERL ethnographic?

written by Dr Ollie Douglas, Assistant Curator. My colleague Felicity McWilliams and I recently attended an ambitious conference at the Pitt Rivers Museum on The Future of Ethnographic Museums, which encouraged me to reflect on how the Our Country Lives project might begin to explore issues of nationalism, multiculturalism and even colonialism. MERL may seem […]

Picture of the month #2: Tilting tractor

This month’s picture has been selected by Guy Baxter, University Archivist, as one of the images featured in a new MERL calendar… This image, from the photographic archive of Farmers Weekly, shows a Fordson Major tractor demonstrating tilting in 1947 – it was clearly an important test because the driver is wearing a tie and a […]

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 […]

Volunteers' Voice #3 – Visitor research

by Rob Davies, Volunteer Co-ordinator Last week we launched our first wave of visitor research at the Museum of English Rural Life as part of the Our Country Lives project. Each wave of visitor research will last for a week, during different parts of the national calendar and we are attempting to capture the museum […]

Guest post #3 – Collections-Based Research at Reading

In this month’s guest post, Professor Alison Donnell kindly provides us with details of an exciting new development at Reading. We have a new collections-based research programme! This allows PhD students to undertake research with University of Reading collections and get specialised training. Two of these studentships connect with MERL and special collections, but the […]

My Favourite Object #2: Ploughs are interesting (honest)

The second ‘favourite object’ has been chosen by Adam Koszary, Project Officer for Our Country Lives. Since starting on work at MERL, it seems he has developed a particular interest in ploughs. Read his personal reflections on the merits of the plough… It is worth pointing out that before I started at the Museum of […]

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