Updates on Coronavirus

Latest update: May 13th

Our archive and library teams are continuing to run our enquiry service, but from this week they are operating with a reduced capacity. Our capacity to operate reprographic / image licensing services is also reduced. Responses may take longer than usual. Please be aware that any research queries or copying requests necessitating access to the physical collection stores will have to be postponed until we return to the workplace. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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UPDATE: 2nd April 2020

In light of the latest government advice, and in line with the University’s position, all events and external visits due to take place at The MERL and Special Collections are now cancelled until the end of June. The museum and the reading room will be closed until further notice.

Although the museum & collections service will be closed, we will continue sharing our collections through social media and via our websites. We are also working on alternative digital ways to deliver elements of the exciting events and activities we had planned for the next few months, keeping everyone entertained whilst sharing useful educational resources.

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18th March, 2020

In light of the latest government advice regarding the developing COVID-19 situation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all events and external visits due to take place at The MERL and Special Collections until the end of April. In addition, the museum and the reading room will close at 5pm on Friday 20th March until further notice.

We understand that this news will be disappointing. We would like to reassure you that it is not a decision we have taken lightly. We will review our plans beyond April in due course. For updates, please visit our website, join our mailing list and follow us on social media.

Our primary concern is to protect the health of our visitors, volunteers, students and staff. The University’s Major Incident Team is meeting regularly to monitor the situation closely and follow all government advice to help prevent the spread of the virus

Although the museum & collections service will be closed, we know that our visitors and audiences care about our collections just as much as we do. We will continue sharing stories of rural England, its history and its people through social media and our websites, keeping you entertained as best we can.

Thank you for your understanding.

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  • Visit us

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    The Museum reopened in October 2016, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Free Admission

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road

    Reading

    RG1 5EX

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