The MERL and Reading Museum: Working together

In a further boost to Reading’s cultural renaissance, the Museum of English Rural Life and Reading Museum will be working together as Museums Partnership Reading until 2022. The partnership is funded by Arts Council England’s (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation scheme, and will see the two museums using £250,000 per year to improve educational opportunities for young people, host joint exhibitions, […]

The history behind an absolute unit

Written by Dr Ollie Douglas, Curator of MERL Collections Intrigued by the photo of the‘absolute unit’ that’s been doing the rounds on social media? Why was this ram such a unit? Why is livestock so often large and… well, stocky? And why does the Museum of English Rural Life have massive numbers of photos, prints and paintings of enormous farm animals? Well, here’s a short cartoon made […]

Going green in the MERL café

It all started with a question about paper cups! Over the past year, we have been working hard to reduce the waste produced from our café, and to increase our recycling. It has been a long process involving the help of the Waste & Sustainability Department at the University of Reading, and we can now […]

Something worth crowing about: our new Poultry Archive project

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new project to develop and explore some of our poultry-related archive collections! Whether your interest is professional, amateur or just beginning, we will have delights from our archives and library aplenty for you over the coming months. Thanks to the generous support of the Poultry Club […]

What have we been up to? Our Country Lives Top 10 #2

We’ve been very busy over the last few months, so here’s our latest Top 10 run-down of what’s been happening… 1. Bringing the wagons down from their overhead positions was a delicate and pretty scary job for our conservator and team of specialists. See how it went. 2. We’ve grown! The extension to our welcome area now […]

Wellcome news for Our Country Lives!

Assistant Curator, Ollie Douglas shares some exciting project news… It has been hard keeping the news under wraps for the last few weeks, but it is very exciting to finally be able to share some news which will have a really significant impact on the Museum’s redevelopment. We are delighted to announce that The Wellcome Trust has […]

Our Country Lives update: Bringing our wagons down to earth

Alongside finalising gallery layouts, coming up with exciting ideas for interactive displays and filling in foundations for our extensions, our biggest update for you this week is the removal of our wagons from their monorail. We managed to finish the job in one day with the help of a specialist removal company, a fork-lift truck […]

What have we been up to? An Our Country Lives update

A common reaction from people when we tell them that our galleries are closed is ‘Does that mean you’re all on holiday?’ Well, we’ve actually been intensely busy behind the scenes since November creating the new MERL! Here’s a round-up of some of the things we’ve been doing: 1. While the galleries have been closed, our […]

The Great University of Reading Museums and Special Collections #12off

The Great University of Reading Museums and Special Collections #12off: It doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue, does it, but the idea for a MERL #12daysofChristmas series of tweets emerged in one of our weekly social media meetings before Christmas, and our colleagues at the Ure Museum and the Special Collections jumped at the chance […]

MERL in Marseilles: reflections on the International Congress of Agricultural Museums

Ollie Douglas, Assistant Curator at MERL, reflects on the common challenges faced by museums similar to MERL around the world, after attending the International Congress of Agricultural Museums. At the beginning of November, Isabel Hughes, MERL Curator, and I travelled to Marseilles to present MERL’s latest ideas to an international audience. Our presentations formed part of […]

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    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

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