Reading Readers – Hilary Matthews

This month, University of Reading PhD student Hilary Matthews tells us about her research into livestock portraiture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. As a Reading University PhD student, I am looking at how the paintings and prints of livestock in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century functioned within the society that produced them. […]

Discovering the Landscape #23: New Towns, Landscape and Gordon Patterson

Guest post written by Penny Beckett, Chair of FOLAR MERL is to host FOLAR’s third AGM and Study Session: New Towns, Landscape and Gordon Patterson – Celebrating mid 20C Design on Saturday 19 March 2016.  MERL staff will mount an exhibition of related New Town material selected from the Landscape Institute’s archive and from other […]

How we went viral: a good story, good luck and good friends

Written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer. It all started with a story that, five or ten years ago, would have remained within the four walls of the museum and gone no further: our assistant curator found a dead mouse in a Victorian mouse trap. The trap was behind a glass case in our store; it […]

How a mouse died in our Victorian mouse trap

Written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer. If you’ve been on the internet for the past few days then you may have heard about the mouse which died in our Victorian mousetrap. We are very pleased and a little surprised to have gone viral, and since our original blog post have some updates on our rodent […]

Object handling with Addington School

A little while ago we welcomed students from The Addington School who came to find out what it’s like to work in a museum. Assistant Volunteer Coordinator Rhiannon really enjoyed introducing them to the world of museums, our collections and the role of the curator… Last term the museum welcomed a group of Further Education (FE) […]

Exploring the Beale Family Farm Diaries

Written by Sharon Maxwell, Archivist (Cataloguing & Projects) One of our recently catalogued collections is a set of 41 farm diaries belonging to the Beale Family of River Hall Farm, Biddenden, Kent. The diaries document the daily lives of Richard Beale Snr and Richard Beale Jnr during the years 1791 until 1834. Richard Beale Snr […]

155-year old mouse trap claims its latest victim

After logging onto their computers today, staff here at the MERL were greeted by an unusual email from the Assistant Curator: ‘There appears to be a dead mouse in this mousetrap…’ It began. ‘…which is not described as being there on the database.’ So, this retired rodent had managed to sneak past University of Reading […]

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