Poultry Show, Telford

Written by Caroline Gould, Deputy University Archivist The MERL attended the Poultry Club of Great Britain National Show at the weekend (19-20 November 2016). It was held at the International Centre, Telford. The MERL took a display of items from the David Scrivener Collection, an expert on poultry. It was the first time The MERL […]

Discovering the Landscape: how to use our collections in your research

Are you an undergraduate, postgraduate, independent researcher or at school? Are you studying history, geography, architecture, environmental science, ecology or design? Then come and use our landscape collections in your research (if you’re an undergraduate apply for one of our landscape student bursaries).  We’ve even got topic and resource ideas listed here. So why use […]

Archives featured in the Galleries

Written by Caroline Gould, Deputy University Archivist The new galleries were opened on 19 October 2016, after a £3million redevelopment programme with £1.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).  Prior to the redevelopment, the galleries contained a large number of objects with little interpretation. We were keen to include archives, archival film and photographs […]

Shaping the Land – why is the first of our new galleries all about trees?

Written by Guy Baxter, Archivist The first space that visitors to the new MERL galleries enter is deceptively simple. It contains one object (a timber carriage), one large picture (an oak tree) and one literary quotation. Thanks to the projected animation and immersive soundscape, visitors can also see and hear the seasons change in the […]

War Child

The MERL is very excited to announce the publication of War Child, an online ‘mixed-media book’ which explores our Evacuee Archive from a fascinating new angle.  In this visually stunning work, Teresa Murjas, Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading, and alumnus and film-maker James Rattee have woven […]

Discovering the Landscape: Preparation, progress and preservation – 3 years on

Plans, papers, press cuttings and publications…. we have spent a busy three years working on the Landscape Institute collections here at MERL. Alongside continuing to work on the collections to make them available, we are now looking to encourage use, awareness and engagement with our rich and varied landscape heritage collections. What have we achieved? […]

Explore Your Archive: People Stories – Eve Balfour

The last of our People Stories, written by The Abbey School students, looks at the life of Lady Eve Balfour, co-founder of the Soil Association Lady Evelyn Balfour was born on the 16th July 1898. After studying agriculture at Reading University she went on to write The Living Soil and then co-founded The Soil Association in […]

MERL at Tractor World Show

Written by Caroline Gould, Deputy University Archivist MERL was invited to the Spring Tractor World Show which took place weekend by the group creating the 80th anniversary display of Ransomes MG crawlers and implements. The display, formed of around 35 Ransomes, won best in show! MERL was keen to attend to promote the archives that are held at the Museum. […]

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 […]

Explore Your Archive: Rats in the archives

Professor of Social and Cultural History at Leeds Trinity University, Karen Sayer is our Gwyn E. Jones Fellow exploring rat control in British agriculture. She’s spent a lot of time looking for rats in our collections… The MERL archive is full of interesting animal records; as you might expect, there are papers, pamphlets and books on livestock […]

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