Evacuees visiting The MERL

On 28 November 2016, The MERL welcomed seven evacuees and their families to the Museum. The evacuees had agreed to allow the Museum to include their stories in the evacuee interactive and the day was designed to thank all involved for their participation. The day included showing the evacuees the interactive for the first time, […]

Sew Engaging at the Rising Sun

Dr Jane McCutchan is back in Reading for the latest stage of  the Sew Engaging project… Drop in at Rising Sun Arts Centre, near the Royal Berks Hospital on a Thursday morning, and you are close to Heaven. Eleven o’clock and the clients have stopped for a tea break.  The chair under Dennis (not his real […]

Sew Engaging: Jane visits the Aman Group in Slough

Aman Group is a women’s only community group who meet at Manor Park Community Centre in Slough to learn from each other in friendship and participate in exercise, awareness sessions, health and beauty ideas and much more. In 2014, Sloughroots ‘Remedies-Remembered’ participants from the Aman Group got involved in a Quilt Project when they visited […]

Sew Engaging! The first 'man stitch'

In this week’s Sew Engaging! project update, Jane visits Cotswold Woollen Weavers at Filkins and gets the first ‘man stitch’ It was dark. I got up this morning and lit the wood burner, glad of my sweater, the brown one I was wearing to launch the ‘Sew Engaging’ project at the Riverside Inn on Valentine’s […]

Sew Engaging!

Our new ‘Sew Engaging!’ outreach project has been launched on the banks of the River Thames at Lechlade, Gloucestershire. The project has been designed by textile artist, Jane McCutchan, and funded by The Ashley Family Foundation. Jane holds a Barnett Bequest Fellowship at MERL, and a doctorate from the University of Reading, and uses our collections in […]

Huntley & Palmers and the MERL shop

Claire Smith, Visitor Services Assistant, looks at MERL’s links with biscuit company, Huntley & Palmers, and the development of new related products for the MERL shop MERL has very strong links with Huntley & Palmers. Not only do we look after their archives, we’re based in Alfred Palmer’s former home! The University of Reading Special […]

Discovering the Landscape #5: Mawson’s ‘The art & craft of garden making’ (1900)

Written by Claire Wooldridge, Graduate Trainee Library Assistant As progress continues to integrate the library and archive of the Landscape Institute into our MERL collections, here’s a brief look at another of our favourite items: The art & craft of garden making by Thomas H. Mawson (London: B.T. Batsford, 1900) In his first book, Mawson […]

Discovering the landscape #3: Milner’s 'Landscape Gardening'

Written by Claire Wooldridge, Graduate Trainee Library Assistant As progress continues to integrate the library and archive of the Landscape Institute into our MERL collections, here’s a brief look at one of our favourite items: The art and practice of landscape gardening by Henry Ernest Milner (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, And Co, 1890). Henry […]

Press release: Arts Council funding brings Reading museums closer to the community

Arts Council funding brings Reading museums closer to the community 5th March, 2014 The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and Reading Museum have been awarded £129,150 to collaborate on ‘Reading Engaged’, a new joint project aimed at strengthening engagement with local communities. MERL, which is owned and managed by the University of Reading, has […]

Discovering the landscape #2 (Landscape Institute project update)

We have been so busy over the last couple of months that we almost forgot to let you know what we’ve been up to! Here’s our progress in pictures… A new library room has been created to accommodate the growing MERL library.  Over 500 books have been bib-checked for duplication across the University libraries, with […]

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